Long-range weather forecasting and how could it benefit your organization

The concept of 7 to 14 day forecast has been widely available for many years. As many industries have become more and more comfortable with these forecasts, organizations are starting to look beyond that time horizon. They want to know, as much as possible, what the weather conditions could be beyond that 7 to 14 day range.


It is now possible to obtain skilful forecasts beyond the traditional time horizon. We are at a point where increased knowledge and techniques, as well as vast amounts of data, are becoming more available to enable long-range forecasts.


What changes have enabled more robust long-range forecasting?


The change is partly because of scientific advancement and because of increased computing power. The weather experts can now analyze a range of worldwide teleconnections; meteorological, oceanographical, and other environmental phenomena - on a larger scale than ever before.  These interactions are becoming more understood, even in a larger time frame. 


How it long-range forecasting different to traditional weather forecasting?


Traditional weather forecasting extends to about 10 to 14-days in the future. Looking beyond this time frame is considered long-range, or long-term, forecasting; it covers forecasts for up to 6 months ahead. 


It's not possible to predict the exact temperature three weeks ahead, let alone three months ahead. Therefore, long-term forecasting is probabilistic, with a confidence measure also included on the forecasts: low, moderate or high. In other words, it's all about 'forecasts of opportunity'. When the forecast has a high probability of occurring and also high confidence, and you can take actions based on this forecast with reduced risk. If the forecast confidence is low, and the outcomes are less specific; it's tougher to use it as a basis for decision making. However, even low confidence, less precise forecast is, in itself, useful information for decision-makers.


What are the advantages of long-range forecasting?


Long-range forecasts potentially unlock new opportunities to become more cost-efficient. Effectively, you can save - or even 'make' - money with reliable long- term forecasts. It all comes down to being prepared and optimizing the decision-making processes. 


Who could benefit from long-range forecasting?


If you recognize yourself in the following situations, then long-range forecasts might be just what you need:


- Your work is influenced by the weather and the climate

- Your people's deployment is (partly) weather dependent

- You have to comply with regulations

- You have to avoid fines (the government heavily regulates your work, including penalties if you don't conform with strict targets.) 

- You have to prepare as a company, and you to be even more cost-effective

- You have to meet ever challenging customers demand

- You have to be profitable

- You have to monitor for potentially disruptive events, linked to weather/climate

- You want to manage the consequences of climate change, be pro-active instead of responsive. 



If you recognize yourself in one or more of these situations, download the full guide discover how long-range forecasts could help you to face these challenges.


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