Where is the forecast?
Over the past several years, CSAG has committed resources to producing a regular seasonal forecast for southern Africa with the objective of providing useful information to a wide range of possible decision makers such as yourself.
However, partly informed by a recent research activity, as well as an accumulation of discussions and interactions, CSAG has decided to temporarily suspend the dissemination of seasonal forecasts. Our concerns focus largely on the skill of seasonal forecasts generally and how skill (or lack of skill) is poorly communicated and understood by users. We feel that our own forecast suffers from the same challenges as the forecast skill has not been rigorously analyzed and is potentially poorly communicated to you, the user. The potential negative consequences of providing misleading or misinterpreted information concerns us and we feel warrants pausing our activities until we are more confident that we can produce and communicate a product of real value to decision making.
However, we do recognize the importance of seasonal forecasts to a wide range of user communities across South Africa. To this end we would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to answer the following questions about how you have used our forecasts and your experience of using them. Your response will help us immensely in moving forward in this activity.