TMCnet Feature
February 09, 2021

How Technology is Ushering in a New Era of Weather Forecasting

Checking the day’s weather has become an integral part of modern life. Whether you’re just planning a family picnic or organizing a sports event, accurate weather forecasts always come in handy. Weather data is just as useful for entrepreneurs and marketers too.

However, the use of weather technology isn’t just limited to our personal and professional lives. State governments and city administrations can utilize timely alerts to minimize the damage caused by extreme weather and natural disasters.

This is particularly crucial considering that rapid climate change and global warming has increased the likelihood and severity of extreme weather events. Today, you can access a plethora of weather data and actionable insights at your fingertips.

But what has contributed to this stellar transformation in weather forecasting? In this blog, we’ll explore how modern technology is changing the face of weather forecasts and predictions. Let’s get started.

A Look Back…

Weather technology has significantly evolved since the early days of meteorology in the 17th and 18th centuries. Traditionally, meteorologists would collect weather data from instruments, such as:

  • Thermometers
  • Anemometers
  • Barometers
  • Rain gauges

They’d compare the current data with historical weather trends and patterns to make predictions about the future weather. Needless to say, this technique was slow, inefficient, and prone to errors. Also, there was no way of knowing how the weather would change in other parts of the world.

The good news is that you no longer have to rely on a meteorologist’s ability to correctly predict the weather. Instead, new-age weather intelligence platforms harness the potential of modern technology, including satellite systems and supercomputers, to generate hyper-accurate real-time forecasts.

The development of cutting-edge communication technology, including the internet, has made it possible to see the weather by location for any country or continent from the comfort of your living room.

It’s now time for us to take a look at the technological advancements that are revolutionizing weather forecasts.

Radar & Satellite Systems

Gone are the days when meteorologists were dependent on outdated tools to collect weather-related information. Instead, they can now use Doppler radar to trace the development of storms and tornadoes before they’ve fully developed.

Distributed radar systems even let weather intelligence platforms distinguish among different hydrometeors, such as rain, hailstorm, and snow. This, in turn, means you’ll know precisely what type of precipitation you need to prepare for.

Also, today’s radar systems use dual-polarization to monitor the movement of precipitation within a storm. This can go a long way to help meteorologists accurately predict when and where a storm or cyclone is going to make landfall.

Likewise, geostationary satellites capture high-resolution images of the earth’s atmosphere at a 15-minute interval. Moreover, polar satellites orbiting the earth provide weather intelligence platforms with more specific temperature and humidity data for different layers of the earth’s atmosphere.

This, in turn, helps meteorologists identify growing storms and hurricanes in any part of the world. Also, it empowers them to foresee an extreme weather event before it develops into a full-fledged storm. It even lets them provide minute-by-minute updates on how the weather is going to change.

Supercomputers and AI

Collecting a plethora of weather data won’t be effective unless you can store, process, and analyze it to generate timely forecasts. Traditional weather models lack the ability to quickly process huge amounts of data. This is where powerful supercomputers step into the picture with their parallel processing capabilities.

They empower mathematical weather models to gather data from multiple sources and process it in a matter of seconds. This, in turn, lets meteorologists issue timely warnings for natural disasters and calamities.

Moreover, the integration of new-age weather models with AI and machine learning empowers weather intelligence platforms to provide you with practical insights on how the weather is going to affect your professional and personal life.

AI-powered weather models combine the power of machine learning and predictive analysis with historical weather data and trends to generate accurate weather forecasts for days and weeks to come.

Knowing that it’s going to snow in your city isn’t enough. You need to know how it’s going to affect the road conditions and traffic in your neighborhood. This is the kind of information that’ll allow you to prepare for erratic weather patterns.

Hyperlocal Weather Forecasts

Radar and satellite systems collect data from every nook and cranny of the planet. However, this data limits weather forecasts to generic predictions about cities and states. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew precisely when it’s going to rain near your office? What if you could find out whether a storm will make landfall in your neighborhood?

These are the kinds of insights that today’s weather systems offer, thanks to the rise of hyperlocal weather forecasts. These systems convert closer-to-ground devices, including street cameras, connected cars, and smart dustbins, into virtual data sensors.

This, in turn, lets these systems collect granular weather data and predict the weather in a specific neighborhood. This is particularly useful for weather-dependent businesses, such as aviation companies, construction firms, and mining sites.

Have you used any modern weather intelligence platform to inform business decisions? Share your experience in the comments section below.

Author Bio: Edward Nilsson

A digital marketer by profession, Edward Nilsson’s love for technology goes all the way back to high school when he first started designing his own video games. He enjoys reading about different trends and advancements in various domains of technology and likes to share his two cents on how these changes will impact human life. When he does get tired of staring at the computer screen, you’ll find him hiking up the mountains for a healthy dose of nature.

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