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Masters of UncertaintyWeather Forecasters and the Quest for Ground Truth$
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Phaedra Daipha

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226298542

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226298719.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

Managing Risk

Managing Risk

The Trials and Tribulations of Hazardous Weather Forecasting

(p.112) Four Managing Risk
Masters of Uncertainty

Phaedra Daipha

University of Chicago Press

The chapter begins by outlining NWS efforts to articulate and streamline the management of meteorological risk into a government meteorology. To properly showcase the challenges of actually managing meteorological risk on the ground, the chapter next launches into a thick description of two missed weather events. The first incident serves as an illustration of the serious repercussions that may arise from a missed hazardous weather forecast even in the absence of any hazardous weather whatsoever. The second incident details the aftermath of a forecast that missed the first snow squalls of the season; a forecast that would have gone unnoticed only a few days later but, on that day, led to hundreds of road accidents and a statewide, five-hour long traffic standstill. The concluding discussion, on the duality of meteorological error, reflects on the essential irresolvability of the “overforecasting versus underforecasting” dilemma and considers its implications for managing risk at the NWS.

Keywords:   hazardous weather, risk management, acceptable risk, forecast verification, forecast accuracy, busted forecast, duality of error

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