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  • 11th Annual Robock Lecture Series To Feature Dr. Lance Bosart of SUNY

11th Annual Robock Lecture Series To Feature Dr. Lance Bosart of SUNY

August 24, 2022

Please join the AOS department in welcoming our 11th Annual Leonard Robock speaker, Dr. Lance Bosart. The talk is scheduled for 7PM on Thursday, September 15th at the Fluno Center Auditorium. There will be reception to follow with refreshments and desserts/snacks.

Lance Bosart, an award winning professor of atmospheric and environmental science at the State University at Albany, has been a pioneer in transforming the science of meteorology from one that examines the weather at a local level to one that understands it on a global scale. This revolution has arisen as a result of his unique status as a renowned expert on both tropical and extra-tropical weather systems. Prof. Bosart will discuss the future of the weather forecasting enterprise-one of the most overlooked by influential innovations of the modern era.


“Most of the American public understands the basic odd-making aspects of sports betting and games of chance. An individual who places a $10 bet on a horse that is listed as a 4:1 favorite knows that if this horse wins the race that he/she will receive $40 on a $10 bet. Yet far too often these same individuals who are comfortable with sports betting will throw up their hands when trying to understand what a probability of precipitation forecast of 40% means. Back in the 1960s, a now-famous meteorology professor at MIT, Dr. Edward Lorenz, demonstrated theoretically that the limit of our ability to predict the occurrence of day-to-day weather forecasts was roughly two weeks. Nothing has changed in the intervening years to suggest that Professor Lorenz was incorrect in his assessment that a limit exists on our skill in forecasting day-to-day weather predictability.

This presentation will discuss why probabilistic weather forecasting is the way of the future, how probabilistic weather forecasts are made, how probabilistic weather forecasts are communicated to the public, and how probabilistic forecasts should be interpreted. Mindful of the overall predictability limit of day-to-day weather forecasts established by Professor Lorenz noted above, we will also discuss how certain weather elements can be predicted probabilistically at longer time intervals than others. For example, skillful probabilistic high temperature forecasts might be made upwards of 7–8 days in the future while similar skillful probabilistic forecasts of heavy rainfall for a specific location may only be made 3–4 days in the future.”

-Lance Bosart

About the Leonard Robock Public Lecture Series

The Leonard Robock Public Lecture is an annual lecture series sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences department. The series features an expert to give a public lecture on an issue related to the public interest such as climate change, tornadoes, hurricanes, hydrothermal vents etc. The lecture is accessible to the public, students, and educators and aims to educate attendees on the state of our knowledge on these issues.