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20 July 2017

Met Office Look Toward 5G Mobile Networks to Improve Weather Forecasting Accuracy

It’s been a long time since our mobile phones were simply a device on which to make calls; these days you can simply pull out your phone and proceed to browse the internet, check the weather, or even stream a feature-length movie.  With new apps and technologies continuing to emerge each day, the scope of their functions is set only to widen.

The rise of the upcoming 5G Network will also open the door to some intriguing possibilities – a fact that is not lost on the minds at the Met Office. Forecasters are stating that by the year 2020, analysis of signal strength and interference within this super-fast network may allow meteorologists to substantially improve upon the accuracy of their forecasts, even pinning the likelihood of rain down to an individual street with remarkable reliability.

The system will work via careful analysis of variations in signal strength caused by rain and other weather patterns, allowing rainfall to be mapped in real time. This data will later be fed into the Met Office supercomputer to be combined with existing information from other datasets, thereby producing an accurate forecast.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said of the intriguing concept, “We originally got involved in this because there was a requirement to look at the effectiveness of the 5G network and to look at the effectiveness that was required to improve that network.

“By collecting that data and then turning it on its head, we are able to get the data coming back out of the Met Office system to produce accurate reports of local weather systems in real time.”

Reliability is obviously a primary concern in such systems, and so the new data collected by the 5G system will be corroborated by the current rainfall and forecasting system, which relies upon a series of 15 radar stations throughout the country. By properly combining these datasets, the researchers believe they can create the UK’s most powerful and accurate forecasting system to date.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.