Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better Weather Predictions In An Avalanche Of Data

Date:
October 25, 2002
Source:
Texas A&M University
Summary:
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.

COLLEGE STATION, October 23, 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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University. "Better Weather Predictions In An Avalanche Of Data." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/10/021024065648.htm>.
Texas A&M University. (2002, October 25). Better Weather Predictions In An Avalanche Of Data. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/10/021024065648.htm
Texas A&M University. "Better Weather Predictions In An Avalanche Of Data." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/10/021024065648.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Hurricane Gonzalo pounded Bermuda with wind and heavy surf on Friday, bearing down on the tiny British territory as a powerful Category 3 storm that could raise coastal seas as much as 10 feet. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Powerful hurricane could hit Bermuda this weekend, and even if it misses it will likely do some damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) One of the largest volcanic eruptions in centuries is occurring on Iceland. The volcano Bardarbunga is producing high levels of sulfur dioxide. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins