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MattQuirk

Has Artificial Intelligence helped meteorologists predict future weather patterns?

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The process of predicting accurate weather patterns has always been a challenge for meteorologists. The complexity is in observing and processing vast amounts of data, and because most of the weather stations would never be able to collect, process and store so much information. With traditional models, the systems have to read huge data sets from several weather stations that would take many hours to predict the weather accurately. The good news is artificial intelligence (AI) has been able to outperform these traditional methods by streamlining the weather forecasting process while bringing accuracy and reliability in assessing weather reports.

The amount of data received from global sensors, weather stations, satellites, and radar, is staggering. The estimation often goes well beyond trillions of data points and is expected to continue to grow. This is where AI plays a significant role because it can take on tasks which are impossible for humans, which includes analyzing vast amounts of data and also getting long-range weather forecasts right.

AI processes complex data in a shorter period using linear regression principles. It further enables the discovery of patterns, recognizing images, assessing different strategies and policies, and developing predictions from billions of observations. According to Mr Prabhat, group leader of the data and analytics services team at the NERSC, researchers are now taking a close look at the best possible ways to integrate AI techniques into weather and climate simulation codes. This means AI is expected to significantly improve weather forecasting over the next three to five years by detecting patterns that indicate severe weather or climate changes.

Besides generating more accurate forecasts, AI can also be used to improve ‘nowcasting’. This means climate experts can now have quick weather prediction that can be typically done just within two hours, providing minute-by-minute precipitation forecasts. Furthermore, integrating AI into weather models can enable them to quickly process satellite images for nowcasting.

Climate scientists and weather forecasters are increasingly looking at technologies like AI & Machine Learning to sift through massive amounts of data and detect patterns indicating severe weather or climate changes. Going forward, there's more to expect & gain from AI. So, do you think AI has the potential to take over weather forecasting in the future? Share your views by commenting below.

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Matt Quirk
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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Matt Quirk
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About the Author

MattQuirk

With a passion for innovation and technology, I am lucky enough to work within high-growth opportunities across multiple industries including manufacturing, healthcare, energy, media and entertainment and security - with technology innovations that are advancing the way people live and work such as AI, autonomous everything and 5G.