The Mathematic of Planet Earth – Centre for Doctoral Training (MPE-CDT) jointly with the WMO/WWRP Joint Working Group on Forecast Verification Research (JWGFVR, https://community.wmo.int/wwrp-jwgfvr) held a virtual summer school on forecast verification on the 21-25 June 2021. The school consisted in 10 theoretical lectures, complemented by some practical assignments; several drop-in sessions, for questions and answers on lectures and assignments; and four complementary group projects, expanding on the lecture assignments, and requiring computational evaluation of operational models. The lecture topics spanned from basic concepts in forecast verification, such as the traditional continuous and categorical scores, probabilistic and ensemble verification approaches, but included also training on inference, experimental design, verification on sub-seasonal to seasonal (S2S) and climate time scales, spatial verification methods and verification of high impact weather. The lectures were recorded and are available at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYudusTSqgtJ6VZTrlLoXbQ2PR5tccLwf. The participants who worked on the supplemental group projects (mainly from the University of Reading and the MPE-CDT program) were grouped into teams, to coordinate and code the analysis at a convenient time for the group. On the final afternoon of the school, each group gave a presentation based on their project, and the best two team projects were prized.
The school, primarily aimed at MPE CDT graduate students in mathematics and in weather and climate science, was open to a wider audience: more than 70 participants, from all around the world, attended the online lectures, from academic and research institutions, as well as from weather and climate services. The online format enabled a wider outreach than the JWGFVR face-to-face tutorials (which usually are held every three years in concurrence with the International Verification Method Workshop), as well as than the MPE-CDT in-presence summer schools. Moreover, the academic collaborative framework provided the ideal environment for the online format and free access (to lectures and recordings), and assisted with some coding for reading the verification data, which enabled participants with diverse computing skills to successfully address the assignments and group projects. For these reasons, the JWGFVR is considering organizing on a bi-annual basis online tutorials, possibly again in collaboration with academic institutes and with the WCRP Academy.
Report by Dr Barbara Casati (Environment and Climate Change Canada)