Forecast Skill in Meteorology

In meteorology the term “forecast skill” is defined in Wikipedia as “the superiority of a forecast over a simple historical baseline of past observations.”

Typically we use “skill” to mean induvial aptitude or ability but here it is used a measure of a result or overall performance.

This was what the Jacksonville pilot Eric Bryson was talking about when he said about piloting: “Any idiot can color inside the lines, The art of it is coloring outside the lines safely.”

Getting in and out of port without incident is the baseline. In this sense, the skill comes from being able to do it safety outside the standard guidelines.

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Surely doing it outside the standard (presumably safest) guidelines is just recklessness, not skill, coupled with luck.

It’s not about doing it outside the guidelines, it’s about ability to handle situations that are other than perfect.

ChatGPT has taken the con.

This subject came up recently and only a meteorology would define skill in such a way that it’s not attributable to a person. In the marine world, -ologist means you can be wrong and still keep your job. At least in the medical field, you would be sued if you went down the wrong hole.

Maybe there’s already a better term? Take the crew’s fire fighting skill for example. The crew’s skill just after crew change is going to be relatively low. Once they’ve had a drill of each of the primary scenarios the skill level is going to improve.

Another example could be the engine crew, at some point it may be required to evaluate the probability of doing a successfully repair under time pressure. Or how well can the mooring crews fore and aft deal with a unusual tie-up in unfavorable conditions?