We have already discussed how companies in various industries as well as educational institutions are leveraging their big data to improve in virtually all aspects of their operations. So, now its time to look at a use of big data that can affect everyone, every day, and not encroach on your privacy or be used to more effectively market a corporation to you. Most people don’t realize that big data analysis is now being used to monitor and predict the weather, and companies such as The Climate Corporation and Earth Risk are using it in conjunction with climatology and agronomics to vastly improve weather predictions and other climatological information.
How Big Data Anticipates Climate
The Climate Corporation processes large weather data sets in excess of 50 terabytes of data. On a daily basis, the corporation utilizes:
- 2.5 million weather measurements
- 150 billion soil observation
- 10 trillion scenario data points
These measurements and observations generate over 10,000 weather scenarios that are processing decades of historical data, which they then use to produce over 10 trillion scenario data points. The data points are entered into complex learning algorithms which are then used to predict the weather. Scientists estimate that this data set is will grow 10x this amount every year!
Climate Corporation: Providing Farmers with “Total Weather” Insurance
Recently, Climate Corporation was given 50 million to hire 50 data scientists and various other positions to thoroughly analyze the large amounts of data being imported each day and to use this data in complex algorithms in order to predict the weather. The Climate Corporation provides insurance plans to farmers for a fee each month and will pay each customer if any extreme weather occurs that affects the profit from their harvest. By using its big data management system, the corporation can provide farmers with custom and personalized insurance plans to suit their needs.
EarthRisk: Billions of Calculations
EarthRisk is also using big data to predict the weather… 40 days in advance! EarthRisk aims to provide long-range forecasts for energy and other various companies that rely on accurate extreme temperature forecasts. Last year, EarthRisk went against the national consensus and performed over 82 billion calculations using data dating back to the 1940s to determine that a warming trend would continue through the winter months. Not only were they correct, last winter proved to be the second-highest heat event since 1948.
EarthRisk: Complex Data Patterns
EarthRisk uses a database that contains over 60 years of weather data to make predictions on future weather patterns. EarthRisk use these patterns to determine extreme events. Stephen Bennett said, “Extreme events are the ones that have the highest impact. The places where the opportunities are to be seized, and the risks managed, are at the extremes… The data patterns have become so complex that it’s too much for a meteorologist—for one brain—to digest.”
Why are Weather Predictions Important?
Let’s be honest, Mother Nature can be very temperamental at times. The weather can be dangerous and life-threatening to an individual or business, and it is one of the few things that we have absolutely no control over. According to Merriam-Webster , weather means “The state of the atmosphere with respect to heat or cold, wetness or dryness, calm or storm, clearness or cloudiness.” Weather is everything that affects our lives on a daily basis and has the power to make permanent changes to a person’s life or business. So why are weather predictions important to all of us? For individuals or businesses that require outside activity, weather predictions are essential. Big data management systems are providing weather companies the ability to analyze data taken from previous decades to analyze weather trends and patterns. By analyzing these large data sets, weather predictions are becoming more accurate and are being provided quicker now than in the past giving individuals and businesses adequate time to prepare for the weather’s impact on outside operations.
Big Data Weather Predictions: Saving Lives and Businesses?
Are big data weather predictions going to be the standard for all weather companies in the future? The advantages of being able to analyze years of past weather patterns are endless. Are there any disadvantages of using big data to predict the weather? Please leave your comments below.