Army

Where-you-are-standing weather app

Real-time, high-resolution atmospheric measurements integrated with local data generate an improved weather forecast for the user's exact location

Software & Information Technology Sensors

The weather app on your smartphone is likely based on a model run every six hours, which might be OK for planning a weekend picnic but is inadequate for real-time decision making. The forecast is also likely based on global-scale weather models featuring coarse resolutions. For instance, current models used by forecasting entities may use a horizontal grid resolution of approximately 30-60 miles for a forecast covering an area of 600 miles. Using global-scale models alone may suffice in non-dynamic weather conditions, but they fail if weather conditions are changing rapidly or if the local area features significant terrain or dramatic land-use transitions.

Hyperlocal weather forecasting is very important for the Army, which has developed an app for a smartphone configured to generate a weather forecast optimized for a local geographic zone – where you are standing. The system uses a high resolution (both horizontal and vertical), physics-based weather model with the best possible 3-D picture of the atmosphere for model initialization and built-in high-resolution land use and topography datasets.

The local weather forecast application is an executable program having a weather data application component. The weather data application receives information from the Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS) or the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). Weather data input comes from the Weather Research and Forecasting Preprocessing System (WPS) and the Weather Research and Forecasting Data Assimilation (WRFDA) packages. Weather sources provide surface reports, upper-air reports, and large-scale initialization data which covers a large geographic area. The system uses geographic input from the phone as well as a sensor unit configured to detect the current air temperature, atmospheric pressure, and relative humidity at the user’s location. The sensor unit transmits the current air temperature, atmospheric pressure, and relative humidity to the weather data application running on the smartphone.

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