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Weather: Hyperlocal forecasts


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A weather forecasting as predicting of something is a complex computer task that has difficulties to follow the description of mathematical models. However, the forecasting of weather conditions that are narrowed to a particular location, region, city or a square kilometer, as the prediction of risks for the population and infrastructure is an entirely different type of task. In order to solve it, the IBM has created a system of hyperlocal forecasting that is the Deep Thunder.

The Deep Thunder’s peculiarity of “the weather forecast for tomorrow” is that unlike the outside conditions that are significant for the ordinary people, the system focuses on the short-forecasts, trying to predict everything, starting from the flooding to downed power lines within 84 hours.

The Deep Thunder was developed in the laboratories of the company since 1996, and today it is a required tool for any local self-government body, infrastructure company, and other organizations, which activities may depend on the weather conditions. There are created all conditions for them, unlike to the traditional weather maps, the Deep Thunder could apportion the weather bit by bit, showing just the data that are relevant.

There is already a buyer that is very interested in using the Deep Thunder to better manage the infrastructure of a city, Rio de Janeiro. The authorities want to prepare for the 2014 FIFA World Cup the best possible way, and as well for the games in 2016, which will also be held in the capital of Brazil.
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Here is by-the-minute forecast of strength and direction of wind in lower Manhattan on March 13, the interface for iOS.

IBM’s experts have shown everything in a recent demonstration for New York officials that the Deep Thunder could do in order to present data from NWS (National Weather Service), which collects it from the land, air and space sensors, forming from data the mathematical model. All this data is processed by a supercomputer, and it is presented for a user in the form of three-dimensional map grid, giving the future forecasts. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) organization uses a few weather models that are processed on a large cluster in IBM.

Using iOS and Android applications, you can monitor key indicators of the weather (as it was demonstrated in New York) and set up the notifications about the specific risks, arising in the desired location. The complexity is only in the fact that even on the basis of this simple information, such as the precipitations and the temperature, sometimes it is difficult to draw a conclusion.

For example, let’s take snowfalls that often overwhelm the infrastructure and make the cities to suffer from it. In January of last year in New York was so much snow as in Moscow on February, causing the roads and the airports to be paralyzed for almost a day, but surprisingly there was not caused any damage to the power lines. Namely, the Deep Thunder is designed to prevent such things, after the user will sort out all info that is important to see.

The strength and direction of the wind is a parameter that does not worry us in our daily lives, but for others it is a vital factor. So, all types of elevated jobs are subjected to a significant hazard in high winds, and not only: "There is difference in the conditions if we will talk about the airports, John F. Kennedy and La Guardia (a smaller airport in the Queens area of New York), instead of Manhattan and Central Park", said Lloyd Treinish, the leader of the research group for studying the environment in the laboratory of Thomas J. Watson.

Using the data that is generated and analyzed by the Deep Thunder, you can understand better how the weather affects our environment in general and act accordingly. This may be even more important than to learn something: you can control the forest fires, help people to predict the tsunamis, storms, typhoons and something else. Weather should not complicate our lives, it is vice versa, it can serve us in the agricultural sector, which also is dependent on the rainfalls and the sunlight.

As I mentioned before, at first glance it seems that the weather does not affect anything, but actually, this factor remains so difficult to forecast that we just obey it. Therefore, such solutions as the Deep Thunder are created for our own normal existence, allowing learning more about what the weather will be tomorrow.
KlauS 11 april 2012, 18:48
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