The US government has issued an action plan to improve water prediction in the western USA. The action plan came after a directive issued last year by the Trump administration promoting the reliable supply and delivery of water in the West.
Meeting the water needs of populations in the West is becoming increasingly complex with some experts predicting climate change could reduce rainfall in the region by as much as 25% in the coming years.
The action plan – a joint project between NOAA and the US departments of Commerce and the Interior – aims to improve the region’s water security by focusing on four areas for improvement: enhance weather forecasts for water prediction; better use of water forecast data to improve water management; better science and technology to improve prediction; and better integration of water availability assessments at the national and local level.
It has long been known that tornadoes pose more threat to life when they strike in poorer areas. But a new nationwide study of tornado casualty rates in the USA has revealed that the risk for the poor is even higher than previously thought.
The study was conducted by Tyler Fricker, a visiting assistant professor of geography at Texas A&M University, and published recently in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers.
Using an analytical model Fricker combined tornado data with socio-economic, demographic and physical variables from the regions where the tornadoes struck to produce predictions for casualty rates.
South Africa is planning to expand its systems for monitoring and forecasting space weather.
Lee-Anne McKinnell, managing director for space science at the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), said in an interview with Space.com that space weather is “growing in the world” and was “becoming a natural risk to technological systems.”
Space weather – a range of phenomena that result when highly-charged plasma discharged by the sun interacts with Earth’s atmosphere and geomagnetic field – has so far had limited impact on South Africa, said McKinnell. She added that two recent incidents – a satellite falling silent and a burnt-out power transformer – may have been attributable to the phenomenon.
The Japanese meteorology company Weathernews Inc. will partner with the car maker Toyota to use connected car data for its forecasting.
Crowd-sourced windshield wiper data will be leveraged from Toyota vehicles to help improve the accuracy of rain forecasts.
A pilot test began this month in three Japanese cities – Aichi, Tokyo and Osaka – where data on the operational status of connected cars’ windshield wipers will be compared with weather data for the same area.
Since wiper operating status typically denotes whether or not it is raining, using wiper data should help detect rain showers overlooked by standard rain cloud radar.
A new software tool will help companies prepare for weather events by converting forecasting data in to user-specific insights on how it will affect their business.
The product – known as Insights Dashboard – has been created by the weather technology company ClimaCell, who say that right now weather-sensitive industries must devote significant resources to analysing multiple forecasting sources to understand the likely impact of weather on daily operations.
According to ClimaCell, the dashboard tool interprets this data for them to provide quick, comprehensible insights on where, when and how their business will be affected.
The software uses AI and machine-learning technology to compare historical weather data with historical business performance data to help the model predict business outcomes for different weather events.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) have found that by combining data from cutting-edge geostationary satellites and traditional weather radar they could generate earlier, more accurate severe weather warnings.
The researchers came to this conclusion after studying supercell thunderstorms in the Midwestern US. “We know satellites have an advantage in producing forecasts earlier, and radar has more confidence in where clouds should be and where thunderstorms will be moving,” said Yunji Zhang, assistant research professor in meteorology and atmospheric sciences at Penn State.
“The question was whether these two types of observations would complement each other if combined together.
A High Mountain Summit has issued a Call for Action in the face of the rapid melting of the Earth’s frozen peaks and the consequences for food, water and human security, as well as for ecosystems, the environment and economies.
The three-day summit held on October 29-31, convened by the WMO and a wide range of partners, identified priority actions to support more sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation both in high-mountain areas and downstream.
“We, the participants at the WMO High Mountain Summit 2019, hereby commit to the goal that people who live in mountains and downstream should have open access to hydrological, cryospheric, meteorological, and climate information services to help them adapt to and manage the threats imposed by escalating climate change,” said the Call to Action.
In late October 2019, the Bloodhound Land Speed Record (LSR) team revealed the car aiming to break the world land speed record. The team is currently testing the Bloodhound car in the Kalahari Desert, Northern Cape, South Africa.
The vehicle has been developed to travel at supersonic speeds, with the end goal being to match or exceed 1,000mph (1,600km/h). ThrustSSC holds the land speed record at 760mph (1,223km/h), set on October 15, 1997.
On November 6, the Bloodhound car had reached 501mph (806km/h) in 12 seconds, securing its place amongst the top 10 fastest cars in the world.