Authors: Hongsen Liao, Yingcai Wu, Li Chen, Thomas M. Hamill, Yunhai Wang, Kan Dai, Hui Zhang, Wei Chen
Abstract: Numerical weather predictions have been widely used for weather forecasting. Many large meteorological centers are producing highly accurate ensemble forecasts routinely to provide effective weather forecast services. However, biases frequently exist in forecast products because of various reasons, such as the imperfection of the weather forecast models. Failure to identify and neutralize the biases would result in unreliable forecast products that might mislead analysts; consequently, unreliable weather predictions are produced. The analog method has been commonly used to overcome the biases. Nevertheless, this method has some serious limitations including the difficulty in finding effective similar past forecasts, the large search space for proper parameters and the lack of support for interactive, real-time analysis. In this study, we develop a visual analytics system based on a novel voting framework to circumvent the problems. The framework adopts the idea of majority voting to combine judiciously the different variants of analog methods towards effective retrieval of the proper analogs for calibration. The system seamlessly integrates the analog methods into an interactive visualization pipeline with a set of coordinated views that characterizes the different methods. Instant visual hints are interactively provided in the views to guide users in finding and refining analogs. We have worked closely with the domain experts in the meteorological research to design and develop the system. The effectiveness of the system is demonstrated using two case studies. An informal evaluation with the experts proves the usability and usefulness of the system.