Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Better weather predictions in an avalanche of data

24.10.2002


Sometimes getting too much of a good thing may create more problems than not getting enough - especially when it comes to the weather. Just ask Texas A&M University atmospheric scientist Fuqing Zhang, whose ensemble weather forecasting research is burdened with trillions of bytes of real-time data.



Zhang’s quest, funded by a National Science Foundation grant of $295,500, is to find the best way to assimilate the most recent weather observation data for input into the latest computer forecasting models.

"Right now, we have good computer programs to help us forecast tomorrow’s weather," Zhang said. "For example, the official U.S. weather forecast, issued by the National Center for Environmental Protection (NCEP), part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), is completely computer generated, untouched, as it were, by human hands.


"The problem is that we have overwhelming amounts of data to put into such models," he continued. "We receive numbers on wind, water, temperature from surface weather stations, weather balloons, national Doppler radar coverage and satellites at rates that vary from minutes to hours to days. All this data is hard to integrate for computer input because it varies according to the different spatial, geographic and temporal scales over which it was collected. In addition, many of the measurements are indirect indicators of physical conditions.

"So, we need to come up with better ways to digest all this data in order to have immediate impacts on our daily weather predictions."

Zhang and his team of collaborators from NOAA, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Washington (Seattle) are hoping to help forecasting computers’ data digestion processes through use of innovative statistical techniques permitting ensemble-based data assimilation.

"Ensemble-based data assimilation focuses on better ways to incorporate the uncertainties surrounding both yesterday’s forecast and today’s observations," Zhang said. "We sample the ways in which the previous day’s forecast deviated from what really happened, and we sample the wealth of data available to us from the present 12 hour period. Then we use statistics to get the best estimate of current initial conditions for the computer forecasting models, which predict tomorrow’s weather.

"Even given the problems of data sampling and uncertainty, new generation numerical weather prediction via computer simulations significantly outperforms human forecasters," he continued. "Now, innovative data assimilation techniques will not only take full advantage of current weather observations to make better daily weather forecasts, it will also provide guidance in designing next-generation weather observation networks."

Judith White | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu/

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas
19.07.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht NSF-supported researchers to present new results on hurricanes and other extreme events
19.07.2018 | National Science Foundation

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>