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Weather conditions can affect the outcome of many government and military operations. Having precise weather data can give strategic advantages in conflicts, support search and rescue operations in the aftermath of accidents or natural disasters, and inform decision-making processes regarding how to tackle climate change.
Accurate weather information is therefore crucial to successful operations in governments and national defense and can lead to the realization of competitive advantages.
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Why Is Weather Important for Governments and Defense?
Weather-related Natural Disasters
Governments keep a close watch on meteorological conditions around the globe that can affect the country's territory and put its population at risk.
Not all natural catastrophes can be predicted well in advance, like earthquakes and tsunamis. But thanks to advanced weather forecasting technology, many others can be, and national organizations spare no effort to try to predict them and prepare for damage control, evacuation, support, and rescue missions.
Weather data can help government agencies to identify the probability and predict the development and course of ongoing events such as:
- Hurricanes and tornadoes
- Intense heat or cold
- Marine hazards
- Winter storms
Search and Rescue Operations
Government organizations and military forces are involved in search and rescue operations following natural disasters and major accidents like plane and ship crashes.
To ensure that these missions don’t put more lives in danger, mission leaders must be aware of how the local weather conditions will develop.
On land, temperature, humidity, wind speed, precipitation and other factors can influence the teams’ capacity to find missing people, enter buildings and move on damaged areas.
On the ocean, wind, fog, precipitation, ocean currents, water and air temperature data is essential for planes and vessels to calculate ocean drift and determine search areas, and to assess a person’s chances of survival in the water.
Climate change affects military operations. Extreme temperatures can be deadly to combatants and damage infrastructure, transport, and weapons systems.
Land modifications due to receding ice caps or shifting shorelines can lead to new lines of communication and new potential invasion routes, forcing governments to replan their defense strategies. Natural disasters, food and water scarcity, and increased refugee flows are consequences of a warming climate that pose a threat to national security.
Visit our Agriculture industry page for detailed information on how climate change affects global food production and supply chain.
A warming climate will bring devastating consequences for cities around the world.
More frequent natural disasters are ravaging big areas in every continent. Basic transport infrastructure such as roads, rails, and bridges can suffer incredible damage due to high temperatures. As sea-levels rise, a number of coastal cities are being inundated, and many may completely disappear under water by 2050.
To ensure people’s safety and national economic survival, governments need to invest in optimizing cities' infrastructure to the new climate and transition to sustainable energy generation options.
Weather data and climate projections are a powerful ally to understand and better manage the challenges of climate change.
Climate Projection Data
We make CMIP6 climate projection data available via API and offer our expertise in weather and climate science to help government and military stakeholders understand how climate change will impact them.
Our users are able to request CMIP6 data across all 5 socioeconomic pathways, out to 2100. We have applied our expertise to standardize and process the raw climate projection data from the CMIP6 models. This makes it easier for users to consume and to integrate with their existing data infrastructures.
In addition, Meteomatics broadens the applicability of climate projection data by:
- downscaling the horizontal resolution to 90m to take into account the local topography
- downscaling the temporal resolution to create consistent time series
- calculating around 40 native and derived parameters that help increase the usability and relevance of climate predictions to more users, such as temperature, wind direction, precipitation and global radiation
Military Operations in the Air, at Sea, and on Land
Military commanders have long understood that the weather had the power to determine the course of history. Throughout the centuries, meteorological conditions have influenced battles and decided the outcome of conflicts.
Understanding and utilizing natural phenomena to seek advantage over an enemy has been a widely employed tactic in military history. Adept tacticians have won battles by strategically exploiting the power of precipitation, flood, fog, heat, cold, ice, snow, wind, dust, and even eye-piercing sunlight.
According to historian David R. Petriello, “World War II was the war of the meteorologist,” as for the first time the scientific study of local weather patterns was a central part of both sides’ operations planning.
Today, most military forces in the world closely monitor the weather. Thanks to science and technology, we can predict many weather events and mitigate their effects, helping to protect soldiers, ensure weapon systems performance, and maintain warfighting capability.
Having access to the most precise weather data available in the market and a competent team of forecasters is thus essential for tactical advantages on the battlefield.
With jets flying missions day and night, some air bases see as much traffic as international commercial airports around the world. Air traffic controllers must be aware and prepared for changing weather conditions to secure operations efficiency.
- Microbursts, downdrafts, lightning, and hail in thunderstorms can push aircraft downwards
- Fog, dust storms, and low cloud cover can reduce visibility, putting maneuvers at risk and compromising operations
- Ice buildup can increase drag, reduce airplane lift, and cause loss of control
- Thunderstorms, lightning, icing, hail, intense up- and downdrafts, and tornadoes can cause severe turbulence, damage aircraft, and lead to diversions
Visit our Aviation industry page for detailed information on how the weather affects flight plans and airport operations.
Remotely Piloted Aircrafts
The modern military increasingly employs remotely piloted aircrafts (RPAs) for surveillance, logistics, communication, attack, and combat.
RPAs demand different systems than the ones used in manned aircrafts as the capacity to “see and avoid” and “remain-well-clear” from obstacles and dangerous weather conditions is impaired for remote pilots. In fact, the lack of optimized systems has led to more than $100 million in weather-related losses of RPAs over the past two decades.
Meteomatics can provide RPA teams with hyperlocal weather forecasts with high spatial and temporal resolution that can help ensure safer flights for unmanned aircrafts. Furthermore, our advanced weather drones can be employed in different weather conditions to help the armed forces collect data from the lower layer of the atmosphere.
Earthly weather forecasting tools don’t have any use in space, as space weather is very different from the meteorological events we experience on our planet. But the weather on Earth plays a big role in the launch of spacecraft.
Temperature, wind speed, precipitation, lightning, cloud types that contain hazardous electric fields, and cloud ceiling are meteorological conditions that are closely monitored by NASA before every retanking, launch and landing missions, and retrieval operations.
The increasing number of spacecraft being launched demands greater weather support in terms both of personnel and of equipment such as weather visualization tools capable of delivering the most up to date and accurate data.
Naval forces rely on weather forecasts to monitor hurricanes, strong winds, ice floes, fog, waves, swell, and other elements that can put their fleet at risk.
Extreme weather conditions and heavy seas:
- Are a threat to the ships’ infrastructure and combat systems
- Have debilitating effects on the crew
- Create dangerous conditions for carrier-based aircraft’s takeoff and landing
- Can be perilous to submarines emerging to the surface
- Reduce visibility making it harder to detect enemy forces
Furthermore, weather data is examined by the Navy for applications other than avoiding extreme conditions. For example, the way sound travels through water and into sediment helps strategists to map out the seabed and calculate the distance or the moving direction of an object. To accurately determine acoustic energy, they need data on salinity, water temperature, and spatial and temporal variability of the water column which are obtained with weather forecasting tools.
Soldiers fighting in muddy trenches still inhabit our collective imagination. Although trench warfare is no longer frequent, ground troops still face many challenges imposed by weather conditions.
- Precipitation, snow, ice, and hail affect mobility, slowing down armored units and supply convoys
- Fog and strong surface winds that blow dust, sand, and other battlefield debris reduce visibility, limiting the ability to hit targets and locate enemy ground forces
- Extreme temperatures, wind speeds, and humidity take a toll on personnel, and can lead to vehicle and weaponry performance failure, jeopardizing missions
Visit our Transport and Logistics industry page for detailed information on how the weather affects logistics.
Meteomatics Solutions for Governments and Defense
Everything you need on call
Meteomatics' Weather API removes the complexity of handling and processing weather data, allowing users to retrieve large volumes of weather data quickly.
- One source, one interface: query multiple parameters simultaneously for single or multiple sites and entire areas.
- Query data in real time with a response time of a few milliseconds
- Real-time access to over 7 petabytes thanks to unique data processing technology (Meteocache)
- "On the fly" downscaling using topographic maps enables 90 meter resolution worldwide, greatly improving accuracy at the local level
- High resolution of data per minute
- Highest data quality: over 1640 updates per day ensure accuracy and timelines
Explore the Power of Our Weather Visualization Map
MetX Visualization Map
With weather maps, weather data can be made accessible to all
MetX is a web-based tool based on the weather API developed by Meteomatics. A weather map is used to display complex weather data and can easily visualize conditions. With our software for the visualization of weather data, we offer you a high-performance solution to gain more insights and thus make better decisions based on the weather situation.
Advantages and Benefits
- the calculation of weather data in real time when zooming or changing views
- a high spatial resolution of 90 meters: based on the NASA terrain model, measuring points are calculated every 90 meters and the weather data are scaled down accordingly
- high temporal resolution of one minute
- the possibility to use different maps like topographic maps, border maps, aeronautical maps etc.
- the use of layers to display different weather parameters
- clear display of up to 4 maps on one screen (quartering of the screen)
- data export for each point on the map
- individual solutions for your weather map on request
High-Resolution European Weather Model for Precise Forecasts
Weather model with 1 km resolution
The basis for highly precise forecasts is our unique European weather model EURO1k. Due to its remarkable resolution of 1 km, you receive fine-scale datasets for your industry throughout Europe.
Many countries and regions have their own weather models. A flight from Bern to London goes through three model domains, which currently cannot be displayed in high resolution. Weather data can therefore be output inconsistently.
The new EURO1k weather model aims to solve this problem with consistent data. Precise measurement data from existing weather models form the basis and are calculated with the help of complex procedures in a high-resolution weather model with 1 km resolution.
The standard for global weather models is a resolution of 20 km. Thus, EURO1k is the first and only model in Europe capable of resolving even the smallest meteorological phenomena (thunderstorms, fog, seabreezes, etc.).
Using downscaling algorithms based on the most accurate geodata, the 1 km-resolution EURO1k even achieves model resolutions of up to 90 meters. To further refine the forecasts, the European weather model is recalculated hourly with the latest weather data.
Creating Hyper-Localized Forecasts Using Meteomatics’ Meteodrones
Meteorological Data From the Base Layer
Our Meteodrones are engineered specifically for collecting weather observations and can operate even in some of the most challenging weather conditions.
In isolated and unstable areas, weather data is often sparser because of the dangers involved in its collection and communication constraints. Finding alternative sources of weather input is fundamental to military operations.
Meteomatics developed and manufactured its own specialized weather drones, called Meteodrones. They are engineered specifically for collecting weather observations and can operate even in some of the most challenging weather conditions, such as high winds, rain, or even icing conditions.
Test flights have been completed in the USA with the National Severe Storms Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Meteodrones are certified to operate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and can fly up to 6 km in altitude, collecting weather observations throughout their flight.
Meteomatics ingests the data captured by the Meteodrones and other observations to run a limited area model, creating a weather forecast that excels in predictions of fog, icing, thunderstorms, severe localized rainfall and lightning.
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