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5 Things to Know About AI Weather Forecasting

The frequency of extreme weather events is on the rise, prompting the need for more advanced tools to prepare for emergencies. Traditional large computer simulators used to forecast imminent weather changes predict forward-looking patterns over the next day or week. AI systems can make accurate short-term predictions within an hour or less to predict some dangers in weather systems.

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  1. Researchers developed new AI technology to look for movements in the atmosphere that signal storms up to 90 minutes before they arrive. This level of precision will help emergency services plan, pilots prepare for flights, and large outdoor gatherings take shelter when necessary.

  2. Hail annually causes about $8 to $10 billion in damages in the US alone. An advanced warning using AI forecasting could help relieve many of those costs.

  3. US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is also driving research to understand winter storms that can be dangerous and damaging to US infrastructure. Using neural networks, forecasts can associate many more factors, such as wind speed, surface pressure, and location, all at once to calculate the probability of a storm that produces hail or tornadoes.

  4. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sponsored the first conference on artificial intelligence in 1986.

  5. Initiatives are underway to boost resiliency against natural disasters using artificial intelligence. AI algorithms could contribute to disaster relief efforts by assessing data such as road damage or flooding using AI tools to indicate the best evacuation routes and where emergency aid is needed.

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