National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2009

Development of skill by students enrolled in a weather forecasting laboratory

Bond, N.A., and C.F. Mass

Weather Forecast., 24, 1141–1148, doi: 10.1175/2009WAF2222214.1 (2009)

Daily values of forecast scores are evaluated for students in a weather analysis and forecasting class (ATMS 452) offered by the Department of Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Washington during the spring terms of 1997 through 2007. The objective of this study is to determine the rate at which senior-level undergraduate students develop proficiency at short-term (next-day) weather forecasting. Separate analyses are carried out for different categories of forecast parameters. Time series of the average skill achieved over the course of the quarter are presented for the median and the best/worst two student forecasters each year. An overall improvement in student forecast skill occurs over roughly the first six weeks of the quarter, followed by minimal systematic changes. Negligible trends in average forecast skill have occurred over the past ten years. The correlation coefficient between the students' overall forecast performance and test scores in ATMS 452 is about 0.4. The results are relevant to the design of effective instructional programs for weather forecasting.

Feature Publications | Outstanding Scientific Publications

Contact Sandra Bigley |