Improving City Services with Accurate Weather Forecasting

March 19, 2020

Current weather forecasts can alert you to potential flooding or icy conditions in your city, but they can’t warn of black ice or flooding on a specific road. Such weather predicting is called “hyperlocal forecasting” and is being made possible with IoT.

  • Getting More Precise Weather Data
    Data-based forecasting began with large, immobile weather stations placed in essential areas in need of the most accurate weather updates. Over time, technology has improved, and individuals can now purchase or build personal weather stations. Sensors in vehicles and cell phones also collect weather data, including temperature and air pressure. Smart buildings have sensors to detect weather conditions such as wind and street cameras can “see” snow or rain. Together, these technologies can provide huge advantages to city services and safety efforts.
  • Building Maintenance
    Farnek, a facilities management company, partnered with ArabiaWeather’s hyperlocal forecasting to cut costs and increase efficiency. Knowing when rain stops falling near a specific building, Farnek can resume business maintenance as soon as unfavorable conditions have passed, instead of postponing the entire day. The company believes this helps cut costs for clients and avoids further disrupting building operations.
  • City Roads
    Colorado is using hyperlocal forecasting to assist with road safety efforts. The forecasts give the transportation department data on specific road and bridge temperatures, frost likeliness, precipitation type and rate, wind speed and direction and specific treatment recommendations. The department can send precise road condition alerts throughout the state and form more effective road maintenance plans.
  • Heat Maps
    Hyperlocal data can also be collected to create heat maps that show heat distribution throughout a city. This information is important for building energy efficient cities and monitoring road and infrastructure conditions that can change in extreme temperatures. The data is also useful for keeping citizens safe by enabling real-time temperature reports that affect daily life just outside their doors.
  • Air Pollution
    Perhaps an unexpected benefit of such specific weather data is the ability to track and predict air quality within a city. Conditions such as wind, heat and precipitation affect the travel and density of air pollution, and air quality sensors combined with weather data can help a city better protect its citizens. London implemented their hyperlocal system to track air pollution in 2018. The data is used to track the effectiveness of and to improve efforts made around the city to reduce pollution.