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Internet of Things Brings New Era of Weather Forecasting

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Sensor technology may help you avoid harmful weather conditions.

Weather data-collection systems will interface with the Internet of Things to tap into sensors installed in vehicles to amass road condition and weather data.

Credit: Thinkstock

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand and develop, weather systems will collect data from vehicles on the road and wirelessly transmit road condition and weather data.

These IoT sensors include those that monitor temperature, pressure, moisture, light, and motion. For example, remote-monitoring stations aimed at agriculture, which measure atmospheric and ground conditions, produce data that is combined with government and private sources of weather data to help develop forecasts that update every hour.

However, weather researchers now want good metadata along with the sensor data, which will help researchers know which instruments were used to gather the data and their accuracy.

There are potential life-saving benefits to using vehicle sensor data to improve weather information and alert systems for drivers. "On average, nearly 6,000 people are killed and over 445,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year," notes the U.S. Federal Highway Administration.

The data from urban environments, lakes, rivers, streams, and other conditions all influence microclimates, according to the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research's William Mahoney. He notes forecasters currently are not using cellphone or vehicle data routinely, "but that's coming." Mahoney predicts over the next few years, research will lead to methods and techniques to take advantage of those data sources.

From Computerworld
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