A storm hitting Israel's coast could be predicted with accuracy, for a change.
A storm hitting Israel's coast could be predicted with accuracy, for a change. Photo by Avner Gadish
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Alon Ron
The meteorology center in Beit Dagan. Photo by Alon Ron

As the world weather gets wackier, there is a mounting need for precise weather forecasts. One Israeli company is developing cutting-edge meteorological technology that can deliver relatively accurate forecasts for specific areas, updated on the hour.

Meteo-Logic's technology is running on an experimental basis, but marketing is projected to start within months.

The new technology delivers pinpoint meteorological measurements from defined spots. The forecasts feature various parameters, including temperature, humidity, wind intensity and direction, as well as how much precipitation is expected at each spot.

Igal Zivoni, founder and CEO and an engineer by training, explains that the new system is based on cross-referencing information compiled from climate measurement equipment around the globe, along with historical meteorological data connected to the spot in question.

In addition, the new technology processes data collated by conventional weather equipment, he says. But it's the proprietary algorithms created by Meteo-Logic that are key to the precise forecasts.

The technology is being tested at 70 different spots around Israel. Zivoni admits that the level of precision in the forecasts is not uniform in each locale.

Dr. Baruch Ziv, a leading meteorologist in Israel, is a paid consultant for Meteo-Logic. After assessing the statistical accuracy of the experimental forecasts produced by the new technology, Ziv insists that the Meteo-Logic equipment is promising.

"There are some local forecasts that generally pertain to limited parameters, such as precipitation," Ziv explains. "Also, forecasts today rely mainly on climactic models; when efforts are made to improve these models' levels of precision, they tend to become overloaded."

Should the current experimental use of the new technology prove successful, the equipment could be applied in a number of ways, Zivoni says. "It can provide forecasts to the wider public regarding any locale where there are measurement stations and historical data. The technology can be used at any spot in the world where there are such instruments and where historical information is available.

"We believe that the technology can be particularly useful at alternative energy production facilities. For instance, wind power facilities can find it very useful to have precise information about wind patterns."

"I am not aware of a weather forecast system that coordinates local data with general, regional forecasts, but that doesn't mean that such a system is inconceivable," says Prof. Daniel Rosenfeld, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute of Earth Sciences. "As I understand it, the idea here is that local forecasts should take into account local factors; in principle, such coordination of data can be done by checking past weather information."