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Global Weather Advancements

It is extremely obvious that there are extreme weather events occurring each and every year: record-breaking warmth or cold, record rainfall or snowstorms totals, record tropical cyclone strengths and coastal flooding, record tornado outbreaks. This list keeps growing and the occurrences are never ending. A clear constant in extreme weather is that it is a global issue. Events happen in every nook and cranny of earth. Global cooperation and efforts to understand our ever-changing climate is imperative. This direction will have a more powerful and far-reaching influence on humankind than any sort of individualized way of thinking.

Recent Strides Forward

State of the art technology is pushing the envelope of meteorological predictions and knowledge base. As technology advances, our predictive models should follow accordingly. These strides may be small, as forecasting and the elements consists of an infinite amount of data, but they have the potential to be life saving.

Recently, Penn State, AccuWeather, Inc., and the University of Almería have developed a framework based on machine learning linear classifiers, a kind of artificial intelligence -- that detects rotational movements in clouds from satellite images.* This type of technology is extremely promising and a duel country effort. Rotational movement detection can help predict severe storms and tornadic activity, giving an edge to advanced warning systems. Further developments in warning times for severe storms can be monumental for areas that see this type of activity on a high frequency scale.

Developments have also been made in an area that is severely lacking in regards to weather forecasting; the two to five week weather prediction outlook. Currently, forecasts made under ten days are relatively accurate, and are only increasing in precision. This 10-day time frame is also consistently in the forefront of the public's mind, it is the forecast displayed on the news every couple of minutes. It could be arguably the most important forecast, along with long term weather prediction trends. Whereas the intermediate time frame is difficult, often lost and widely misunderstood by the public. New research conducted by atmospheric scientists at Colorado State has looked towards this intermediate two to five week prediction advancements.

In a new paper in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Colorado State University atmospheric scientists demonstrate the ability to make skillful predictions of severe weather across the Plains and southeastern United States, including hail and tornadoes, in that coveted 2-to-5-weeks-in-advance period. To do it, they use a reliable tropical weather pattern called the Madden-Julian Oscillation, which can influence weather in distant parts of the Earth, including the U.S., by sending out powerful atmospheric waves.**

Advancements in the intermediate time frame of two to five weeks would benefit the entire forecast model, trends and patterns, increasing accuracy and warning systems.

Trend forecasts are important contributors to overall predictive analytics. The College of Meteorology and Oceanography, National University of Defense Technology, in Nanjing, China recently conducted research on the use of the microwave links to distinguish between Rainy and Dry Periods. This study will broaden the range of available equipment for microwave links for precipitation measurement, as the accurate measurement of the intensity and spatial distribution of precipitation is of great significance for meteorology-related fields.*** This type of research and technology when combined with advanced research such as rotational cloud movements and intermediate weather forecasts could send weather warning systems propelling light-years forward. The global combination of research and developments would unify the atmospheric research knowledge base.

Imagine the reach if the entire globe was coordinating on advanced extreme weather warning systems? While advancements have occurred, the problem is that they are relatively small and within their own borders or agencies, instead of stretching them across the globe. Connection, corporation and communication is essential for large strides forward in atmospheric and meteorological expansion.


*Penn State. "Using artificial intelligence to better predict severe weather: Researchers create AI algorithm to detect cloud formations that lead to storms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2019. <>

**Colorado State University. "Researchers rise to challenge of predicting hail, tornadoes three weeks in advance: They used a reliable tropical weather pattern called the Madden-Julian Oscillation, which can influence weather in distant parts of the Earth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2018.<

***Use of the C-Band Microwave Link to Distinguish between Rainy and Dry Periods, Binsheng He, Xichuan Liu, Shuai Hu, Kun Song, and Taichang Gao. Research Article (9 pages), Article ID 3428786, Volume 2019 (2019)

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