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Analytics Makes Better Weather Information   Featured

Analytics Makes Better Weather Information    NOAA

In a constantly evolving world, today’s research on weather and climate is crucial for predicting tomorrow’s trends. Weather data analytics helps scientists identify the weather patterns and allows organizations and other institutions to get real-time updates and know what awaits them. Weather data insights can be used to identify aspects like tropical cyclones, possible floods, atmospheric rivers and others. This has proven to be an important component considering the changing climate and weather patterns. Weather analytics play an important role in minimizing environmental impact. Here are some ways this approach to analytics can impact the climate now and in the future.

Minimizing chemicals and salt for treatment of roads

Each winter is another season to spread tons of salt on the roads to keep them clear and safe for motorists. In the US alone, over 20 million metric tons of salt are spread on the roads each winter season. While salt is useful in clearing our roads and increasing the safety of drivers, it has been found to have adverse effects on drinking water. Salt contaminates drinking water and is harmful to the environment. A recent study found that 24 percent of New York’s private drinking wells were contaminated with salt used to clear the roads.

With road pavement forecasting, unnecessary treatment can be reduced significantly. Weather data, which combines high-resolution forecasts, road sensors, and environmental assessment, influences the right decisions on where to clear and the amount of salt to be used. Based on the insights offered by these devices and the information collected by the road maintenance crews, specific locations along the road can be identified and chosen for treatment. Some state governments have already implemented this approach, one of them being the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Carbon emissions and use of fuel by ships

The transport and logistics industry is among the leading producers of carbon emissions globally. The shipping sector is one area that has substantially benefitted from analytics, and The International Maritime Organization is taking steps to reduce carbon emissions. Its goal is to cut carbon emissions by over 50 percent by 2050. Although modern equipment and alternative fuel are the most helpful in this area, weather analytics can play a significant role too. According to studies, weather-optimized routing can reduce fuel consumption in ships and reduce emissions by up to 5 percent. Based on analytics, information gathered by algorithms can help find new routes and reduce fuel consumption and emissions if there is bad weather ahead.

Scheduling sporting events

Sports matches like soccer and cricket, among others, can be adversely impacted by bad weather conditions like rainfall or snow. However, with analytics and applications that have been developed, officials can find out possible weather patterns and schedule accurate times to play any sport in a favourable climate. These applications can tell when it is the right time to play a game three days before.


Environmental factors like high or low temperature, dust, humidity, air quality and warm climate are critical for health. As such, predicting such conditions can be helpful for people with various health conditions like asthma, allergies, colds and flu, among others. Correct predictions make it easy for people with health challenges to ensure they have the right medicines and understand when there is a possibility of asthma attacks.

In summary, many organizations depend on weather analytics for accurate weather predictions that will enable accurate weather predictions. This eases different operations, eliminates disruptions and makes it easy to conduct operations in areas like airports and construction sites. Utility companies also benefit significantly from accurate weather predictions made possible by analytics.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for Big Data & Analytics Tech Brief

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