More Accurate and Rapid Rainfall Prediction

Short-term weather forecasts – nowcasting – is done using parabolic radar antennas. These antennas take about five to ten minutes to scan 15 layers of the sky: they look at one layer of the sky, detect the rain there, and then extrapolate from other weather conditions where the rain will be falling later. Although nowcasting doesn’t use a lot of computing power, it’s not exactly accurate either.
Now, an international team of researchers, including scientists from the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science, has begun to make accurate and rapid weather forecasts that could be used to prevent damage from torrential rains. Their method uses a combination of computer algorithms and phased-array radar technology.
The phased-array radar can be targeted quickly: it can scan the entire sky in just ten to thirty seconds, looking the space from 100 angles with a range of 60 kilometers.
To further improve the forecasting capability of the radar, the team developed a new algorithm that can take enormous amounts of observational data from the radar (which, by the way, is updated every 30 seconds!) and make rapid forecasts.
Thanks to the new technology, extremely frequent and accurate forecasts await us.

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