Two papers published this week in Nature present the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in assisting weather forecasting. One method can predict global weather patterns up to a week in advance, while the other can make short-term weather forecasts, including extreme precipitation events.
New approaches to AI-assisted weather forecasting are as accurate as existing methods, or address previously intractable weather phenomena. More evaluation and interaction with the traditional weather forecasting community is needed before considering how or whether new approaches could complement or replace current forecasting systems.
Weather forecasting plays a crucial role in helping to save lives and minimize property damage, especially as extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change.
Currently, the most accurate forecasting system is the numerical weather prediction method, which is mainly based on physical equations but requires a lot of computing power and is often slow, taking hours for a single simulation.
In recent years, some AI-based methods have shown potential in significantly speeding up weather forecasting, although the accuracy is usually lower than numerical weather forecasting methods.