Roots of Ensemble Forecasting

Lewis, John M.
July 2005
Monthly Weather Review;Jul2005, Vol. 133 Issue 7, p1865
Academic Journal
The generation of a probabilistic view of dynamical weather prediction is traced back to the early 1950s, to that point in time when deterministic short-range numerical weather prediction (NWP) achieved its earliest success. Eric Eady was the first meteorologist to voice concern over strict determinism—that is, a future determined by the initial state without account for uncertainties in that state. By the end of the decade, Philip Thompson and Edward Lorenz explored the predictability limits of deterministic forecasting and set the stage for an alternate view—a stochastic–dynamic view that was enunciated by Edward Epstein. The steps in both operational short-range NWP and extended-range forecasting that justified a coupling between probability and dynamical law are followed. A discussion of the bridge from theory to practice follows, and the study ends with a genealogy of ensemble forecasting as an outgrowth of traditions in the history of science.


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