Probabilistic forecasting summarises what is known, or opinions about, future events. In contrast to a single-valued forecasts (such as forecasting that the maximum temperature at given site on a given day will be 23 degrees Celsius or that the result in a given football match will be a no-score draw), probabilistic forecasts assign a probability to each of a number of different outcomes, and the complete set of probabilities represents a probability forecast.
Weather forecasting represents a service in which probability forecasts are sometimes published for public consumption, although they may also be used by weather forecasters as the basis of a simpler type of forecast. For example forecasters may combine their own experience together with computer-generated probability forecasts to construct a forecast of the type "we expect heavy rainfall".
Sports betting is another field of application where probabilistic forecasting can play a role. The pre-race odds published for a horse race can be considered to correspond to a summary of bettors' opinions about the likely outcome of a race, although this needs to be tempered with caution as bookmakers' profits needs to be taken into account. In sports betting, probability forecasts may not be published as such, but may underlie bookmakers' activities in setting pay-off rates, etc..
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