AuthorHartmann, Holly Chris.
Climatic changes -- Environmental aspects -- Research.
Climatology -- Forecasting.
Research -- Methodology.
Committee ChairSorooshian, Soroosh
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractStakeholder driven research has been advocated to link hydroclimatic research with the needs and capabilities of groups affected by climatic variability and related governmental policies. A stakeholder driven research agenda was designed, focusing on hydroclimatic forecasts and their assessment, within the context of an interdisciplinary integrated assessment of the vulnerability of diverse stakeholders to climate variability in the U.S. Southwest. Water management, ranching, and wildland fire management stakeholders were solicited for their input. Their perspectives about hydroclimatic variability and opportunities for using hydroclimatic forecasts differed widely. Many individuals were uninformed or had mistaken impressions about seasonal hydroclimatic forecasts, but understood practical differences between forecasts for "normal" conditions and "nonforecasts" having total uncertainty. Uncertainty about the accuracy of forecasts precludes their more effective use, as does difficulty in distinguishing between "good" and "bad" information. A survey of hydroclimatic forecasting confirmed stakeholder perceptions and identified improvements in hydrologic predictability that could be rapidly incorporated into current operations. Users faced a complex and evolving mix of forecasts available from many sources, but few corresponding interpretive materials or reviews of past performance. Contrasts between the state of meteorologic and hydrologic forecasting were notable, especially in the former's greater operational flexibility and more rapid incorporation of new observations and research products. The research agenda uses predictions as the linkage between stakeholders and scientific advances in observations (e.g., snow conditions) or process understanding. The agenda focuses on two areas: (1) incremental improvement of seasonal water supply forecasts, and (2) improvement of stakeholder perceptions of forecasts through ongoing forecast assessments. A forecast evaluation framework was developed that provides consistency in assessing different forecast products, in ways that that allow individuals to access results at the level they are capable of understanding, while offering opportunity for shifting to more sophisticated criteria. Using the framework, seasonal temperature and precipitation outlooks issued by the National Weather Service were evaluated, considering regions, lead times, seasons, and criteria relevant to different stakeholders. Evaluations that reflect specific user perspectives provide different assessments of forecast performance. Frequently updated, targeted forecast evaluations should be available to potential users.
Degree NamePh. D.
Degree ProgramHydrology and Water Resources