Planning my son’s birthday party is usually a nightmare. Not because its time consuming nor because his 20 boisterous friends might tear my home apart but more because it falls exactly at a time of year that is very unpredictable weather wise.
While my daughters both enjoy summer birthdays when the heat and sun is pretty much constant, for my son, born at the start of November, its one of those transitional seasons where it could equally be cold and raining or warm and sunny, nothing is certain.
A few years ago, we were planning to hire a bouncy castle for the boys to fool around on but the weather forecast indicated overcast and cloudy skies with a chance of rain, no more details than that.
Hoping for some luck and going with the “chance” side of the forecast, we started to inflate the castle but no less than 20 minutes later it began to pour with rain. As we took the castle down, I will never forget the disappointment in the boys’ faces – not to mention my own horror because now I had to find an emergency indoor activity to keep them all occupied until we were ready for birthday cake!
Now, thanks to new developments in weather predicting technology a break through has been made whereby meteorologists can determine what exactly will happen in the skies above and even when during the day it will happen!
What should also be warmly welcomed is the fact that this technology is accessible to everyone via the online initiative Meteo-Logic, which provides highly accurate localized weather forecasts for specific locations at specified times.
“We are on the edge of a new era in predicting weather,” comments Danny Deutsch, Business Development Manager at Meteo-Logic, explaining that while forecasts have come a long way since Indian tribes once used the moistness of the soil and the smell of the leaves to tell what the weather would be, there is still large gaps in the general accuracy of weather prediction.
“A lot has changed but we are still not able to predict the weather 100%,” he says, pointing out however that the technology behind Meteo-Logic could be set to change it all.
According to Deutsch, Meteo-Logic’s computations take existing weather prediction technology, such as the Global Forecast System (GFS) – a numerical weather prediction computer model run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – one step further.
Based on data from meteorological centers at various locations, and analyzing information about the topology, geography and meteorological history of that specific weather point, Meteo-logic can almost pinpoint exactly what the weather will be on a specific hilltop or certain neighborhood in a way that has never happened before.
Not only will it help mothers like me, who might want to plan a birthday party or a family picnic, it could provide official bodies such as the military or airline companies exactly what type of weather they can expect to experience at any given location.
“The forecasts that are provided on television or on most websites are just not enough, people want more details about what exactly the weather will be,” said Deutsch. “It is not enough for a weather broadcaster to say its going to be cloudy, people want to know when and where exactly it is going to be cloudy.”
Admitting that weather prediction can never be 100% perfect, Deutsch claims that it is a big step leading us into the future and allowing meteorologists to better understand the process of weather formation and prediction.
“Current weather forecasts are too general, usually we only get the minimum and maximum temperatures for a specific day or night and it is hard to know exactly what the weather will be,” he said, adding “Weather is something dynamic and the issue of how it effects you is critical.”