Are there any new technologies on the horizon that will help improve the efficiency of weather forecasting?
Faster computer processing and potentially nano-technology will play a role in helping improve forecast accuracy. As stated before, the higher the resolution that computer models can be, the great the accuracy forecasts will have further into the future. Although many scientists feel there is a theoretical limit to improvements, we have not reached that point.
A more powerful satellite system is being developed currently by NOAA and NASA that will also provide much better atmospheric and oceanic data to be used by the ever improving forecast models.
Does WeatherBug work with any national agencies to help communities be better prepared in dealing with weather related issues?
I know sometimes people laugh at the little “Chirp” of the WeatherBug, or may find it annoying at times…but WeatherBug is the largest distributer of NWS alerts to the public. Alerting the public to impending weather dangers to protect life and property is the primary mission of the NWS. WeatherBug’s active role in alerting the public is an important part of the NWS achieving their mission. We have had many people write to us over the years thanking us for the “chirp” and letting us know that the WeatherBug gave them sometimes 10 minutes or more lead time on their local tornado sirens or NOAA radio. Every minute counts in these situations and from a technical standpoint, the engineers at WeatherBug put in a huge effort to make sure that we are getting chirps out as fast as we can! In the early days of WeatherBug, I went for 2 days without sleep because the service was growing so fast that we could not send out our alerts as fast as we wanted to. We literally worked around the clock to get the system performance improved to the point where we could ensure the alerts get out within just a few minutes from the time the arrive in our data centers from the NOAA satellites.
As a weather forecaster do you feel there are any weather patterns or indicators that support Global Warming? Could we attribute any of these to normal fluctuations that take place over time?
It’s almost impossible to argue with historic global temperature measurements that show a slow increase in surface air temperatures around the globe over the last 50-100 years. There is significant room for argument in regards to the actual rate of increase and the forecasted increases that are thrown about by researchers. The current increases fall within the range of past observed fluctuations – so it is natural to ask if the current global warming isn’t part of a cycle or fluctuation. After all, it wasn’t that long ago, temperatures were falling through the 60s and 70s and there was a talk of an impending ice age.
On top of that, you have the question – Why are temperatures rising? Human induced global warming gets a lot of the attention but it would be irresponsible to not investigate all potential contributors. Do sun cycles or ocean cycles contribute? What amount of the warming can be attributed to each contributor? Many, many questions remain unanswered.
NOAA has some good articles on climate change along with data and statistics.
Here are some great links for and against the argument for human induced global: