Managing the safe flow of aviation air traffic in hazardous weather conditions is dependent upon weather forecasts that accurately depict the initiation of convective thunderstorms 4, 6 and 8 hours in the future. Since forecasts of convective initiation are in their infancy, they require improvement to become a reliable and accurate depiction of the hazardous weather for improved flight planning. In order to measure the accuracy of the convective initiation element of a forecast, new verification techniques are being developed and tested. One specific technique used to assess the National Center for Atmospheric Research's AutoNowcaster is the Procrustes Technique, an object-based verification approach. In general, the Procrustes object-based verification scheme identifies objects in the observation field and compares them to the similarly defined forecast objects. The verification scheme matches like objects and assigns a penalty based on minimizing the cost function of all possible matches. In the end, the unmatched objects are considered initiation if certain requirements are met. The use of this object-based technique will be presented in the context of assessing convective initiation forecasts for use in aviation air traffic planning.
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