Understanding and Improving the Socio-Economic Benefits of Forecasts
Convener: Adriaan Perrels 
 / Mon, 07 Sep, 17:45–19:00  / Room Sofia II
 / Attendance Mon, 07 Sep, 16:15–17:00  / Display Mon, 07 Sep, 09:00–Wed, 09 Sep, 18:00  / Sofia I

The relation between forecast and eventual benefit is by no means straightforward. It is therefore of utmost importance to understand the pathway from forecast to the user and the decision context. In fact also the steps prior to the forecast should be included as they determine the quality of the forecast. In turn a high technical quality of a forecast is no automatic guarantee for notable benefit generation. The pathway, involving communication channels, user interfaces, human interpretation, timely delivery, etc., may entail a significant amount of ‘information decay’. Furthermore, user contexts change implying that technically highly accurate forecasts can nevertheless demonstrate a decreasing match with the exact user information needs.
In recent years also in Europe the number of studies concerning the socioeconomic benefits of weather, climate and hydrological services is rising steadily. On the one hand these types of studies could still merit from more sophistication regarding impact attribution to a chain of factors. Also joint use of monetized and non-monetized benefits (and costs) remains compelling. On the other hand it is valuable to learn how implemented SEB projects have helped (1) to reduce information decay in the chain from forecast to user, and (2) to better prioritize investments.
All in all this session is inviting meteorologists and senior managers from national weather services as well as users to present their experiences with performing SEB studies and with exploiting the results. The session is also inviting academic and consultancy experts in socioeconomic appraisal of weather and climate services to present their experiences and explain difficulties in valuation methods. A third group of contributions could come from recent experiences with impact or user profile weighted verification methods.