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Google's AI "precipitation nowcasting" can forecast extreme weather in near-realtime

Extreme events like the bushfires are likely to become more common (Image source: BBC)
Extreme events like the bushfires are likely to become more common (Image source: BBC)
Google researchers unveiled their AI-based "precipitation nowcasting" solution, which can predict rainfall at a 1km resolution, 6 hours ahead of time, with just 5-10 minutes of calculation. The new approach could mean better crisis management and reduce life and property loss.
Arjun Krishna Lal,

As the Australian bush fires have shown, climate change means that the world is set to experience more-and more unpredictable-weather events in the years to come. Being able to forecast the weather could save valuable infrastructure and lives.

Google recently shared that it's working on AI models that enable weather forecasting on a "nearly instantaneous" basis. Google's new weather model is in early stages. As yet, it has not been integrated into any of the company's commercial solutions. However, we wouldn't be surprised to see it appear in, for instance, Google Maps, in the near future.

How accurate and fast are the predictions? The researchers claim that their "precipitation nowcasting" generated rainfall forecasts at a 1km resolution, 6 hours ahead of time. Remarkably, the "nowcasts" took just 5-10 minutes to calculate. 

The study indicates that this technology has the potential to enhance standard weather forecasting models. According to the post, cloud cover, a major factor in existing weather models, does not perfectly correlate with rain. This means that the new model could potentially predict weather events in situations where earlier models would be unable to do so. 

According to the researchers, this could help augment crisis management and reduce "losses to life and property."

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 01 > Google's AI "precipitation nowcasting" can forecast extreme weather in near-realtime
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2020-01-14 (Update: 2020-01-14)
Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - News Editor
I've had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I've gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. When I'm not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.