Kirk L. Kroeker "Technology, too, obeys the law of responding, of answering a call at whose origin we are encountering so much static." -- Avital Ronell

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Modeling Chaotic Storms

By Kirk L. Kroeker

Scientists say improvements to extreme-weather prediction are possible with new weather models and a reinvention of the modeling technologies used to process them.

The warning time for the onset of extreme weather is far greater today than it was 20 years ago, when only a few minutes of warning could be given for tornadoes, and only half of them could even be predicted. Today, new data-collection technologies, such as Doppler radar and satellites, have improved the ability to identify and track hazardous weather. But scientists say further improvements to warnings’ lead times will not come primarily from the physical systems that gather weather data, but from improving the modeling technologies used to process the data, and from improving the prediction models themselves.

(This article appeared in CACM, vol. 54, no. 11, November 2011, pp. 15-17.)

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Modeling Chaotic Storms


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