17. Weather Lottery & Forecasting

A weather lottery should exist to encourage people to study the weather and create a market for more accurate weather forecasting.  (In addition, people’s tendency to waste money on random outcomes could be harnessed for the greater good.)  The idea is for people to participate in either the short or long term weather forecasting of single or multiple weather variables.  Lottery organizers could choose from any number and combination of variables to make the lottery easy or hard.  People who accurately predict that (or those) particular weather variable(s) win the jackpot.  Some of the money raised could go to further weather forecasting research.  Several varieties of weather lotteries should run concurrently to satisfy the market.  Making weather forecasting into a kind of game that is available for everyone to play, would result in the introduction of a huge amount of public information and speculation which may be mined to yield at least some benefits.  Perhaps, certain players who tend to be significantly more accurate than the rest, or even more accurate than professional forecasters, could be questioned as to their methods of forecasting and research so that the science of weather forecasting could be improved.

Weather Forecasting Error Bars

Consumers should have the ability to view weather forecasts with error bars that represent the probability that the forecast will be within certain limits.  Each future day would have a larger error bar centered on the predicted temperature of the present forecast.  For example, let’s say that a forecast given on day zero (0) says that day 3 will have a high temperature of 78° F.  Let’s say that a 75% probability figure is chosen.  The error bars for day 1 would probably be +/- 1 or 2° F.  For day 2, maybe +/- 3° F.  Day 3, +/- 5°F, and so on.  This way, weather forecasters can compete with each other for accuracy.

Forecasting Astronomical Events

Weather forecasts should also include the forecasting of astronomical events, like significant meteor showers, eclipses, and significant transits.  Information on whether the sky will be cloudy or clear at the time should be stated.


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