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Severe weather forces new weather forecasts

Severe weather forces new weather forecasts

Artificial intelligence has taken weather forecasts to a new level, both for startups like Ignitia and SMHI. After the harsh weather this summer, players are now working under high pressure to translate forecasts into recommendations.

If there is one thing we will remember Starting in the summer of 2021, severe weather combined with torrential rain and drought will likely have dire consequences in bed-ridden Europe.

Currently, countries and municipalities are working hard on how to better prepare for new extreme weather events. Because they will come. The latest IPCC report indicates that climate change will undoubtedly lead to more torrential rains and floods, as well as more severe droughts.

“We can say that the weather forecast in Germany this summer was correct. It was rather that communication did not arrive and there were no warnings about the effects the weather could have,” says Heiner Kornsch, who works on development issues at SMHI, who is now starting to Work more actively with these two criteria, Communication and Consequences.

Even if severe weather is affected severely Facing Europe, the consequences of climate change in developing countries will hurt and will be the most severe. There is Swedish entrepreneur Liisa Smits with her company Ignitia who developed a solution to help small farmers with local weather forecasts.

This summer, Ignitia received 35 million Swedish kronor in new money, including from Ikea Social Entrepreneurship BV, to move the service from West Africa to other large markets such as Brazil.

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“We get the data from global sources, mostly satellites, which are then plugged into our mathematical model and our AI, which focuses on weather in tropical climates where important phenomena are highly localized and change rapidly,” says Lisa Smits.

Ignitia text messaging forecasts for farmers in West Africa.

With the help of the GPS coordinates of each farmer, the local weather forecast for the next few days can be communicated in the form of an SMS for about 40 öre each. In August, Ignitia exceeded two million farmers as customers. The vision for 2030 is to reach 200 million users.

Accuracy up to 84 percent, Something that is constantly checked by private follow-ups to the predictions made. Confidence in the service is underlined by the very low regression, only 2.4 percent of customers leave the service.

In the wake of more and more extreme weather events, she and her nearly 40 colleagues, like SMHI, are working to help recipients translate weather forecasts into consequences and action.

“Farmers need to adapt to climate change, which is accelerating. They need to find crops with a shorter life cycle but they also need to help decide when to fertilize or harvest. That is why we have developed a service where we provide powerful advice to farmers.”

SMHI is also conducting extensive development On how artificial intelligence can make weather forecasts more reliable.

“Artificial intelligence, especially machine learning, is starting to develop. The dream is that we put weather data and forecast, but we haven’t quite come this far yet. On the other hand, it is used in parts of our production, such as monitoring the quality of feedback or on specific problems,” he said. Heiner Körnich says the latter is represented by wind turbine ice. There, machine learning is being successfully used to link weather data with production data from power plants.

Heiner Körnich who works on development issues at SMHI.
Heiner Körnich who works on development issues at SMHI.Photo:SMHI

Supercomputers to be able to make faster and more accurate calculations as well as new types of satellites can above all provide better information about the wind, something that today means challenges to measurement, are also parts where they move quickly.

Internet of things at the same time Make it easy to access weather data collected elsewhere around the world.

“Data from, for example, the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration, which in flight control takes information about temperature and wind every five seconds, or data from special weather stations, which of course must be quality assured with the help of artificial intelligence.”