Meteorologists promise more reliable long-term forecasts in the future

Heavy rains in eastern countryHeavy rains in eastern country.Photo: Krister Sørbø / NTB scanpix

Meteorologists promise that in coming years they will give us more precise long-term weather forecasts.

It could save society a lot of money and also save human lives.

Experts agree that climate change will give us even more extreme weather conditions. More geographically accurate weather forecasts will be important both from an economic, and human, point of view.

Two weeks

‘Today we can provide about one week’s notice of weather conditions. In ten years it will be possible to give notice of extreme weather up to two weeks in advance’, said the director of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Anton Eliassen, and research director at the European Weather Center (ECMWF), Erland Källén, to news agency NTB.

‘A week’s notice of extreme weather is good. It gives the community time to prepare. But the goal is to double the warning time, and provide better forecasts, with even greater detail for regional areas’, said Källén.

Major challenges

Already today, we notice that climate change gives us greater weather variables, such as heavy storms or lightning and rain. How, in a short time, a downpour almost submerged parts of Asker earlier this year.

When models are improved, meteorologists will be enabled to provide safer alerts locally, although it may be difficult in the future to determine exactly where the heavier precipitation will fall locally.

‘We live in a very demanding weather area (værområde), perhaps one of the hardest in the world’, said Källén. In tropical regions, we can provide forecasts up to six months in advance, for example, of the weather phenomenon “El Niño”’, he said.

He added that in 2012, forecasters were able to give notice of the super-storm ‘Sandy’ hitting the United States, including densely populated areas like New York, a whole nine days in advance.

‘It gave the community good time to prepare, including ensuring that subway carriages were parked in safe places. Previously, we’ve seen that precise forecasts could save society a lot of economic strife’, said Källén.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today