Predictability of Weather and Climate

  • Predictability of Weather and Climate
  • Lecturer: Prof. Dr. T. Jung

Lecture content

Producing skilful predictions of weather and climate is one of the key challenges
in environmental physics. This lecture gives an introduction to basic concepts and
modern developments in this field.

The lecture starts by exploring the reasons as to why skilful predictions are so
difficult to carry out in practice. This will lead to the concepts of nonlinearity and
chaos which highlight the importance of producing ensemble forecasts which can be
used to determine the predictability of the predictions. Then, fundamental differences
between weather and climate predictions will be highlighted.

In the second part of the lecture, practical aspects in the design of forecasting
systems will be discussed. Topics being covered include observing systems,
data assimilation, numerical models and ways of generating ensembles of forecasts.

Finally, different ways to quantify the skill of weather and climate forecasts and to
assess their econmic value will be discussed (forecast verification).


Lorenz, E.N. 1996: The Essence of Chaos. University of Washington Press.
Kalnay, E. 2003: Atmospheric Modeling, Data Assimilation and Predictability. Cambridge University Press.
Palmer, T.N. and R. Hagedorn (Eds): Predictability of weather and climate. Cambridge University Press.