Enhancing Weather Forecasting Using Drones

July 8, 20240

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) recently announced a new 2 year research partnership with GrandSky Airfield Operations in North Dakota. The partnership will use drones and other UAV assets to aid in weather forecasting.

NOAA says the key to improving the skill of NWS forecasts and warnings is to have additional observations in the atmospheric boundary layer, which the drones will allow them to collect. The project will use a Swiss-based Meteodrone, which is used to fill gaps between space-based satellites, weather planes and balloons, and ground-based weather observations in real time.

The Meteodrone will collect data such as atmospheric pressure, humidity, wind conditions, and ice accumulation. These observations will allow for a better understanding of changing weather conditions, which is increasingly important as the number of serious weather events continues to climb as a response to climate change.

Once the data is collected from the drone, a Utah-based company called Synoptic will handle the data and send it to the NWS in near real time with the hope of significantly enhancing the accuracy of weather forecasts. 

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