All serious weather events combined can add up to an annual economic impact of $485 billion, according to a new study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
A new weather-modeling capability developed by IBM - dubbed "Deep Thunder" - provides high-resolution forecasts for a region-ranging from a metropolitan area up to an entire state with calculations as fine as every mile.
When coupled with business data, it can help businesses and governments tailor services, change routes and deploy equipment to minimize the effects of major weather events by reducing costs, improving service and even saving lives.
What makes Deep Thunder and models like it so interesting - and potentially game-changing - is the use of weather models to predict not just the weather, but the impacts of weather.
Deep Thunder complements the forecasts produced by the National Weather Service and are made up to a day ahead of time. The reports can be customized to visualize the specific weather elements a business may be concerned about, such as wind speed and direction for a firefighting crew.
Holley previewed Deep Thunder for 9NEWS and showed how it could help public and private sector organizations, including:
- Utilities and private energy companies can use localized weather forecasts to determine energy demand.
- Air traffic controllers and dispatchers could re-route flights around hazardous weather.
- Firefighters could use weather data such as temperature and wind for input to fire behavior and propagation models to better understand where and when conditions are most likely for an outbreak.
- Public and commercial transportation companies, highway supervisors and emergency services more efficiently staff and equip for flooding and snow removal; re-route traffic and even save lives.
- Government officials could hone their evacuation and emergency set-up plans; improve the timing and accuracy in deploying recovery crews by knowing the time and location of an oncoming storm.
Watch the interview above to see what Holley explains about Deep Thunder.
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)