Overview of Communication Strategies for Uncertainty in Hydrological Forecasting in Australia

With a Focus on “Assessing Forecast Quality of the National Seasonal Streamflow Forecast Service”
  • Narendra Kumar TutejaEmail author
  • Senlin Zhou
  • Julien Lerat
  • Q. J. Wang
  • Daehyok Shin
  • David E. Robertson
Reference work entry


The National Seasonal Streamflow Forecasting Service operated by the Bureau of Meteorology since 2010 delivers monthly updates of 3 month ensemble forecasts at 147 locations across 75 river basins using the statistical Bayesian joint probability (BJP). Seasonal forecasts are communicated to the public using statistical concepts such as “chances,” “ensembles,” “lower/higher than median,” etc. However, these concepts require advanced competencies in statistics, and they cannot be conveyed to a general audience easily. This chapter focuses on the challenge of communicating forecast skill to a wide range of users more effectively. A simple forecast performance measure called the “Aggregated Forecast Performance Index (AFPI)” was introduced which captures key attributes such as forecast reliability and accuracy and combines them into a single easy-to-understand and well-informed aggregated measure. Based on this index, it was demonstrated that bureau’s seasonal streamflow forecasts are reliable. They also offer improved accuracy by narrowing down the forecast uncertainty (up to 25%) with respect to reference climatology and hence offer a value proposition for water managers to improve their decision-making.


Seasonal streamflow forecasting Ensemble forecasting Uncertainty estimation Forecast verification Aggregated forecast performance Forecast accuracy Forecast precision Forecast reliability Continuous Rank Probability Score (CRPS) Root mean squared error (RMSE) Root mean squared error in probability space (RMSEP) Hit rates Bayesian joint probability model (BJP) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Narendra Kumar Tuteja
    • 1
    Email author
  • Senlin Zhou
    • 2
  • Julien Lerat
    • 1
  • Q. J. Wang
    • 3
  • Daehyok Shin
    • 2
  • David E. Robertson
    • 3
  1. 1.Bureau of MeteorologyCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Bureau of MeteorologyDocklandsAustralia
  3. 3.CSIRO Land and WaterClaytonAustralia

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