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Saturday, 24 February 2018
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General Forecasting Division

The role of the CAFO Forecaster in the weather forecast

The work of the CAFO forecaster encompasses three distinct phases.

The first phase is the analysis and understanding of the current weather. This analysis relies on the traditional chart work (drawing the isobars and fronts on charts whereon weather observations have been plotted), as well as the study of satellite imagery, of radar information, and of charts and graphs which show the state of the atmosphere at different altitudes up through the clouds.

The next phase is to establish the forecast. This is done by studying the likely movement and development of the various weather systems over the coming days, and then inferring from this movement and development how the weather "on the ground" will change over time. The various computer models give us guidance, in order to correct and refine the forecast and keep it "on track".

At this stage the forecaster will work in their knowledge of the local peculiarities of weather over Ireland; knowledge and experience that has been built up over time and which is frequently a crucial ingredient in a successful forecast.

The final phase is the communication of the forecast information to the end user.

The three elements; analysis > forecasting > communication must come together in order that the Irish public can be provided with the quality of weather forecast information which they both demand and deserve.

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