Statistical forecasts

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statistical forecast

A forecast based on a systematic statistical examination of data representing past observed behavior of the system to be forecast, including observations of useful predictors outside the system.

In short-term climate forecasting, CCA (canonical correlation analysis), as described by Barnston (1994), is a good example of a statistical forecast. Depending on method and scope, the limitations of statistical forecasts are related to shortness of record, danger of overfitting, assumptions of linearity (often), absence (often) of physical considerations, etc. Purely statistical forecasts in weather forecasting have become rare; however, a combination of dynamical model output and statistics is very common in weather forecasting. Some statistical methods are guided by physical principles to such an extent that they resemble dynamical models. An example of the latter is empirical wave propagation described by Qin and van den Dool (1996).
See perfect prognosis method, MOS.

Barnston, A. 1994. Linear statistical short-term climate predictive skill in the Northern Hemisphere. J. Climate. 7. 1513–1564.

Qin, J., and H. M. van den Dool 1996. Simple extensions of an NWP model. Mon. Wea. Rev.. 124. 277–287.