This slide illustrates the degree of uncertainty in Sunday temperature at Heathrow from earlier in the week when forecasters were highlighting two possible scenarios, a cold one and a mild one.
We’ve come up with an ice cream game concept – the player will have to run an ice cream, and they can sell more ice creams if the weather is warmer, but will sell nothing if it rains. And they will lose money if they sell nothing. We’re asking a few demographic questions and assigning each player randomly a different presentation type – the questions will be designed to test understanding of the information contained in each. Outcomes will be generated on the fly so people can experience ‘real’ probabilities. Using a quadratic scoring rule to rate people’s confidence.
Various reasons why we might want to present uncertainty – Mainly due to scientific integrity – everyone knows there is uncertainty so why not express it? Need to move away from presenting forecasts as a black and white science. Uncertainty information could also be of benefit to end users.
Obstacles and AssumptionsWhy are we not communicating it already?• …the public don’t understand probabilities…• …uncertainty is too difficult to communicate…• …the Press don’t get it…• …the Met Office (or BBC) is just covering itself…• …you can’t say 50% chance - that is admitting defeat…• …just tell me what will happen…I just need to make a decision… • or is that “just make my decision for me” ?