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Global forecasting of thermal health hazards: the skill of probabilistic predictions of the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI)

Pappenberger, F., Jendritzky, G., Staiger, H., Dutra, E., Di Giuseppe, F., Richardson, D. S. and Cloke, H. L. (2014) Global forecasting of thermal health hazards: the skill of probabilistic predictions of the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI). International Journal of Biometeorology, 59 (3). pp. 311-323. ISSN 1432-1254

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00484-014-0843-3

Abstract/Summary

Although over a hundred thermal indices can be used for assessing thermal health hazards, many ignore the human heat budget, physiology and clothing. The Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) addresses these shortcomings by using an advanced thermo-physiological model. This paper assesses the potential of using the UTCI for forecasting thermal health hazards. Traditionally, such hazard forecasting has had two further limitations: it has been narrowly focused on a particular region or nation and has relied on the use of single ‘deterministic’ forecasts. Here, the UTCI is computed on a global scale,which is essential for international health-hazard warnings and disaster preparedness, and it is provided as a probabilistic forecast. It is shown that probabilistic UTCI forecasts are superior in skill to deterministic forecasts and that despite global variations, the UTCI forecast is skilful for lead times up to 10 days. The paper also demonstrates the utility of probabilistic UTCI forecasts on the example of the 2010 heat wave in Russia.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:37906
Uncontrolled Keywords:Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI), Ensemble forecasting, Temperature forecasting, Thermal comfort, Thermal stress, NWP
Publisher:Springer

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