What is ensemble forecasting?

Math in Meteorology Read more from
Chapter Math in the Natural Sciences

Ensemble forecasting is not all the meteorologists of the world getting together to predict the weather; it’s a numerical prediction method used to generate a possible outcome of an event, in this case, weather events. This type of forecasting is actually a form of Monte Carlo analysis, in which the predictions are based on a different initial conditions that are relatively feasible—all based on observations and measurements that have happened in the past (for more about the Monte Carlo analysis, see “Applied Mathematics”). In fact, during hurricane season, many of us who watch the weather channels have seen the results of ensemble forecasting: notice some of the model simulations of the many possible tracks of a hurricane, for example, as it heads out of the Caribbean Ocean and towards the U.S. coastline.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Math Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App