Precision weather service tells you exactly when it will rain

May 26, 2006

When planning a summer wedding, it does not really help to hear that "the probability of showers is increasing". A precision weather forecast will predict when the sun comes out or when the rain stops - or foretells if there is fog on the road or shipping lane.

Helsinki Testbed is a project designed to develop precision weather services. It consists of two parallel projects: a wide-ranging research project launched by the Finnish Meteorological Institute in 2005 that focuses on providing new weather services, and another project concentrating on the new observational systems developed by Vaisala Measurements Systems.

Precision weather data requires forecasting on a so-called mesoscale that in meteorological terms means a distance of 1 to 30 kilometres and time span of 0 to 3 hours. For this type of immediate forecasting the conventional observation networks and prediction models are too dispersed.

Testbed is part of Finnish "Business Opportunities from Space Technology" Programme launched by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. The project will produce a development platform that combines a range of observational instruments, analysis and forecast models and environment-related weather services.

For the Testbed project, Vaisala built a dense weather and environmental measurements network that makes use of wireless data transmission technology. The system also includes a database and a web user interface.

”Testbed is open. New parties are free to join the system and use it for their own purposes while at the same time diversifying the system through their own input. Accessibility and scalability promote innovation and encourage networking among the players in the environmental measurement sector", says project manager Heikki Turtiainen of Vaisala.

"Several international research teams have indicated their willingness to join Testbed by offering their equipment for use in the project," Turtiainen says.

Source: Tekes

Explore further: Scientists go high-tech to study fragile cold-water reefs

Related Stories

Recommended for you

The debate over Arctic drilling - what's at stake

1 hour ago

Seattle's mayor and environmentalists have vowed to block Royal Dutch Shell PLC from parking two Arctic offshore drilling rigs on Seattle's waterfront, an effort to thwart the new frontier in oil exploration ...

In Seattle, 'kayaktivists' take on Arctic oil drilling

1 hour ago

Royal Dutch Shell wants to park two massive Arctic oil drilling rigs in Seattle's waterfront—but the petroleum giant will have to get around protesters in kayaks and a mayor determined to take on climate ...

How climate science denial affects the scientific community

5 hours ago

Climate change denial in public discourse may encourage climate scientists to over-emphasise scientific uncertainty and is also affecting how they themselves speak - and perhaps even think - about their own research, a new ...

Scientists go high-tech to study fragile cold-water reefs

17 hours ago

Coral reefs are generally associated with warm, shallow and crystal-clear waters in the tropics. Other species of coral, however, flourish in the deep cold ocean where they also form large reefs. Now researchers ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.