Yes, weather forecasts are reliable, even reaching record accuracy!

Are weather forecasts more reliable today than they were 30 or 40 years ago? Meteorologists will say yes, but those who don’t work in the field may have a different opinion on this. To distinguish true from false, the organization of statistical data Our world in data He conducted a large study between 1981 and 2018. Here’s what he showed.

Although humans have always tried to predict what the sky would be like, it was not until 1859 that the first weather warning was issued, and this took place in England. Weather forecasting really developed starting in the 1960s, and even more so starting in the 1980s. And since then, in 40 years, meteorology has taken a spectacular leap: Our world in data compared weather forecasts with what actually happened in the sky for a period each day since 1981. While reliability was very uncertain – sometimes good, sometimes bad – between 1980 and 2000, the last 20 years have changed the situation.

Reliability close to 100% up to 5 days expired

The 3 and 5 day forecasts are now very reliable, close to 100%. 7-day forecasts have gone from a 45% success rate in the 1980s to almost 80% in 2018. 10-day forecasts are still quite imprecise, but here too science is progressing: they have already passed with a success rate of around 20%. % in 1981 to almost 50% in 2018. The curve shows, on the other hand, the difference in reliability between the forecasts on thesouthern hemispheresouthern hemisphere and theNorth HemisphereNorth Hemisphere : The lack of reliability in the southern hemisphere is largely related to the lack of weather stations, and therefore observations, in remote areas of this part of the Globe, although the difference is decreasing over the years. As the research organization points out, weather forecasts are less reliable in the world’s largest agricultural areas, where people need them most.

Recently, researchers introduced ClimateGPT, an AI that aims to help us save the planet. Deciphered with Adèle Ndjaki in this episode of Vitamine Tech. © Futura

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