Evaluating forecasts of extreme events for hydrological applications: an approach for screening unfamiliar performance measures



Many different performance measures have been developed to evaluate field predictions in meteorology. However, a researcher or practitioner encountering a new or unfamiliar measure may have difficulty in interpreting its results, which may lead to them avoiding new measures and relying on those that are familiar. In the context of evaluating forecasts of extreme events for hydrological applications, this article aims to promote the use of a range of performance measures. Some of the types of performance measures that are introduced in order to demonstrate a six-step approach to tackle a new measure. Using the example of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ensemble precipitation predictions for the Danube floods of July and August 2002, to show how to use new performance measures with this approach and the way to choose between different performance measures based on their suitability for the task at hand is shown. Copyright © 2008 Royal Meteorological Society