Economic Value of Weather and Climate Forecasts

Case Studies

Quotes | Case Studies | Book | Other Resources

Umbrellas in rain


Quotes: Decision Making

"We should not judge the value of human actions by their results, since sometimes the most foolish actions enjoy the best success, while the most prudent actions have the worst result."

– Jacob Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician

"You don't get points for predicting rain. You get points for building arks."

– Lou Gerstner, former IBM CEO

"If you wait until the wind and the weather is just right, you will never sow anything and never harvest anything."

– Ecclesiastes 11:4

"It is the evaluation of probabilities, unconscious or more or less conscious as it may be, that influences and determines everyone's behavior under uncertainty."

– Bruno de Finetti, Italian mathematician

"La chance ne sourit qu'aux esprits bien préparés."

– Louis Pasteur, French chemist

"A good Bayesian finds himself carrying an umbrella on many days when it does not rain."

– Martin Feldstein, American economist

Quotes: Forecast Information

"Information is information, not matter or energy."

– Norbert Wiener, American mathematician

"The trouble is, nobody knows how to measure the worth of information."

– Lewis Branscomb, American physicist

"An inch ahead is darkness."

– Japanese proverb

"He who knows does not predict. He who predicts does not know."

– Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher

"Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future."

– Niels Bohr, Danish physicist

"It is utterly implausible that a mathematical formula should make the future known to us, and those who think it can would once have believed in witchcraft."

"Who will count the innumerable cases of changes to which the air is subjected each day so as to form a conjecture about its state in a month, to say nothing about a year?"

– Jacob Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician

"A forecast is just the set of probabilities attached to a set of future events."

– Baruch Fischhoff, American psychologist

Quotes: Objectivity versus Subjectivity

"Objectivity in science is a myth, in life an impossibility, and in decision making an irrelevance."

– Jock Anderson, Australian economist

"The subjectivist states his judgements, whereas the objectivist sweeps them under the carpet by calling assumptions knowledge, and he basks in the glorious objectivity of science."

– I.J. Good, British mathematician

Case Studies

Agriculture Energy Fishery Transportation
Agriculture Energy Fishery Transportation

This web site will be used to list recent case studies of the economic value of weather and climate forecasts which were not included in the book Economic Value of Weather and Climate Forecasts (Cambridge University Press), and to maintain a dynamic source of information regarding this subject. The focus of the web site is on published case studies of specific decision-making problems, especially those in which a monetary estimate of forecast value is obtained. If you have any papers or information which you would like to be considered for addition, please contact Richard Katz at the Computational & Information Systems Laboratory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Please click on a category above to view case studies categorized according to their attributes. Click here for an explanation of the Case Study Attributes.


Economic Value of Weather and Climate Forecasts (Cambridge University Press) is a book edited by Richard Katz and Allan Murphy. This book examines how weather and climate forecasts can be used to mitigate the impact of weather on the economy. Contributions from economists, psychologists, meteorologists, and statisticians are included and encompass forecasts over a wide range of temporal scales. Excluded from the book were studies that treat weather- or climate-sensitive decision problems but use only climatological, instead of true forecast information. This book seeks to determine the economic benefits of existing weather forecasting systems, and the benefits of improving these systems.

Economic Value of Weather and Climate Forecasts

Other Resources

Completing the Forecast: Characterizing and Communicating Uncertainty for Better Decisions Using Weather and Climate Forecasts, National Research Council (2006).

Enhancing Weather Information with Probability Forecasts, Information Statement of American Meteorological Society (May 2008).

Forecast Verification: A Practitioner's Guide in Atmospheric Science (Second Edition), I.T. Jolliffe and D.B. Stephenson (Editors), Wiley (2012).

Forecast Verification -- Issues, Methods and FAQ, WWRP/WGNE Joint Working Group on Verification.

Making Climate Forecasts Matter, National Research Council (1999).

A Weather and Climate Enterprise Strategic Implementation Plan for Generating and Communicating Forecast Uncertainty Information, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 92, 1651-1666 (2011).

Weather and Climate Forecast Use and Value Bibliography, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado.

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