NOAA Turns to AI and Cloud Computing to Enhance Climate Forecasting

NOAA is piloting AI applications aimed at translating weather watches and warnings into various languages.
NOAA Turns to AI and Cloud Computing to Enhance Climate Forecasting
Representative image. Source: NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Rick Spinrad revealed that the agency is adopting artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and high-performance computing (HPC) technologies to enhance the accuracy and distribution of weather and climate forecasts.

In response to a historic count of 28 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in the past year, NOAA is transitioning a critical National Weather Service computer system to a cloud-based infrastructure.

Additionally, NOAA is piloting AI applications aimed at translating weather watches and warnings into various languages.

“If we do a translation of a forecast it can typically take a half hour or 45 minutes for human intervention. But AI allows that to be done in just 3-5 minutes,” Spinrad said at a hearing before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s environment subcommittee.

Moreover, NOAA is spending significantly on HPC along with AI, Spinrad revealed.

Last year, it was reported that NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters have been training an AI system in weather, water, and climate terminology in Spanish and Simplified Chinese, which are the most prevalent languages in the United States after English. 

Following this, the NWS planned to incorporate Samoan and Vietnamese, with the intention to include additional languages in the future.

“This language translation project will improve our service equity to traditionally underserved and vulnerable populations that have limited English proficiency,” Ken Graham, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service, said back then.

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