Less than half a century ago, skillful weather forecasting beyond a few days ahead was deemed fundamentally impossible. The atmospheric system was assumed to be too chaotic, the observations too few, the computing power insufficient, and the process understanding too limited. In contrast, we currently pick the fruits of high-quality forecasts of hurricanes hitting coastal residents, timely warnings for elevated flood risks, and useful outlooks to manage agricultural practices or hydropower lake storage dynamics.
This has become possible by acknowledging the need to join forces between observational experts, model developers, and society-oriented forecast providers. And by accepting the need to take a long breath to build, upgrade, refine, couple, tune, tailor, test and adjust the complex forecasting systems. These systems produce today forecasts with high detail for a few days ahead to outlooks of climatic conditions at longer lead times.
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