Meteorology and its effect on public safety

Quite often, we tend to judge our day by its weather conditions. Who doesn’t like a warm sunny afternoon with clear blue skies and a hint of fresh breeze? Indeed, fair weather can drastically improve moods, but its conditions extend far beyond leisure time.

The weather has historically been a key factor in the development of various human civilizations, as they strived to accommodate and build in accordance with their given climate conditions and day-to-day meteorological changes.

The weather remains a key factor in our life. As per the World Meteorological organization, observing changes in weather is crucial for various sectors. While the latter definitely include tourism, transport, aviation, public health and safety, other longer-term actions, such as international cooperation, environmental protection and scientific development, rely on meteorology as well.

In fact, accelerated climate change has rendered the need of for accurate and timely observations even more important in these last few decades. Public safety has become a larger topic of concern with heatwaves, extreme rainfall or even natural disasters occurring all the more frequently and having bigger impact. In fact, extreme weather has been given a second place on the list of Top 10 Global Risks by Severity Over the next 10 years, as estimated by the 2022 report of the World Economic Forum. Climate action failure took the first place in this hall of shame.

To prevent costly damages to property and potential loss of life, meticulous weather measurements should be conducted at all times. This is why the modern-day meteorologists require the best equipment to adequately perform this uneasy task. Our ancestors’ observations of the sky do not suffice any more. New technologies in the field of meteorology have been developed to predict the changes in weather with the highest possible accuracy.

Which technology is being used?

High-performance computing (HPC), used in complex highspeed calculations and data processing, is being deployed in weather and climate research. It allows scientists to analyze multiplex data models and draw conclusions, based on a multitude of the examined factors.

This technology is used to give very precise weather simulations and data-heavy weather models. Due to the system’s high performance, it significantly reduces the time taken to alert authorities of potential dangers, which helps save lives.

To collect the crucial geospatial, climate and atmospheric data, scientists rely on meteorological sensors, satellites and weather stations all over the world.

The collected information is then transformed into weather models and that cover different periods in the past, as well as make predictions for the future changes in weather and climate.

The accurate weather warnings, based on these data models, are generated via predictive analytics technologies. This is crucial in preventing damages from natural disasters, as it could help evacuate the inhabitants of a certain area in due time. The analytics could also be used in everyday life. To design schedules, for example, or to decide when schools and establishments should remain closed.

Beyond that, accurate weather measurements coupled with appropriate measures could help with other problems on the World Economic Forum’s report. In the case of livelihood crises (5th spot on the chart), predicting the weather in advance could help prevent cut-offs in food supplies for more isolated areas, as world leaders would have time to find alternative sources of nourishment, thanks to the quick and reliable forecasts.

As our very life processes remain anchored to weather and climate, it is important that we know when to take appropriate measures when the time calls. This is why the research and technology in the field of meteorology should develop and achieve new standards continuously.