Technology company IBM said on Thursday that it will roll out a new weather forecasting system that will be able to forecast conditions up to 12 hours earlier in parts of the world that do not have access to such detailed data. Demand for very accurate and rapid weather forecasts has increased due to climate change in more extreme conditions and moves to more variable renewable energy grids. The system, known as IBM GRAF – the global high-resolution atmospheric forecasting system – will run on a supercomputer and provide more detailed and high-quality forecasts.
Previously, such accurate forecasts have been available in the United States, Japan, and some West European countries.
The company said that IBM’s new development forecasting system would provide data to cover the world, including Asia, Africa and South America.
Current global weather models cover a distance of 10–15 km and are updated every six to 12 hours. IBM’s system will be reduced to 3 km squared and updated hourly.
Cameron Clayton, head of IBM’s subsidiary, The Weather Company, said, “Forecasting forecasts can be revolutionary for some regions of the world, such as rural farmers in India or Kenya.”
“If you’ve never had access to high-resolution weather data before, but now they can anticipate hailstorms before they arrive in their areas, then you can better plan for planting or harvesting,” he said .