Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Science and Technology- Scientific Exploration Mains Syllabus : GS-III Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology.

Why in News?

  • International technology company IBM plans to make a high-resolution weather forecast model that will also rely on user-generated data to improve the accuracy of forecasts available in India.

About IBM-GRAF:

  • IBM Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting System(IBM GRAF), as the forecast system is called, can generate forecasts at a resolution of 3 kilometres.
  • This is a significantly higher resolution than the 12-kilometre models currently  used by the Indian Meteorological Department to generate forecasts .
  • These weather forecast techniques rely on dynamic modelling and collect a trove of atmospheric and ocean data, crunch it in supercomputers and generate forecasts over desired time-frames — three days, weekly or fortnightly.
  • IBM relies on a global network of sensors — automatic weather station, data buoys and barometric pressure data from cell phones of users who’ve downloaded the application.
  • A combination of observations, computing and equations underlies the forecasts, since forecasting tropical conditions over India is particularly tricky.

Benefits:

  • Since the local economy faces huge disruption due to severe weather events and disasters, this forecast model could play a major role in averting such issues.
  • The forecasts are considered to be 30% more accurate than those generated by 12-km resolution models.
  • Weather forecasts will be available to individuals for free download and can be used by farmers.
  • The forecast engine will also be used to provide custom forecasts for energy companies, consumer brands, insurance businesses and satellite imagery analysts.
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