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Innovations in technology & forecasting services

Automated meteorological observation process – benefits for the societal output of meteorological organizations


Professional meteorological observations are needed for initializing numerical weather prediction models as well as for nowcasting and forecasting work by the meteorologists. The timely and trustworthy provisioning of these forecasts is essential for the safety and efficiency of people and business processes in the societies.

Modern observation systems are automatic to a growing degree. Unattended and unmanned operation of practically all surface-based observation processes is possible, ranging from sounding stations with monthly loading visits through weather radar and lightning detection networks to fully automated measurement of visibility and prevailing weather. These networks can be monitored and managed with off-the-shelf software solutions that not only ensure the telecommunication connections to the measurement sites, but also monitor and control the meteorological observation process itself. These systems allow the observation departments to provide accurate data with high data availability, leading to reliable and trustworthy forecasting processes.

In the advanced industrial countries, the main motivation of automation may be the cost savings related to working time used in observation activities. However, the primary benefit of automation is often the improvement in data availability and data quality, which allow the meteorological institute to carry out its societal task with improved positive effect. In this presentation, we present the recent developments in automatic weather observing and network management systems as well as discuss the value creation chains of the meteorological observation networks and processes.

Presentation given at InterMET Asia 28 March 2019

Private Sector Briefings on Innovations in Technology & Forecasting Services session chaired by Rob Baron, Executive Vice President, Baron

Note: please click both links to hear audio and view slides at the same time.

Aki Lilja - Director, Soundings Weather and Environment, Vaisala, Finland

Aki Lilja

Aki Lilja

Director, Soundings Weather and Environment, Vaisala, Finland

Mr. Aki Lilja is Director of Sounding Products and Head of Professional Meteorology Segment in Vaisala’s Weather and Environment Business Area. He has more than 20 years of experience in various aspects of meteorological observations, ranging from research work related to ground-based remote sensing systems to sales, business and product management roles. Mr. Lilja has helped meteorological organizations on all
continents to improve their observation infrastructure with radiosonde, weather radar and lightning detection technologies in particular. Most recently, Aki Lilja has engaged in supporting and following research related to radiosonde data’s impact to global numerical weather prediction, as well as served in World Meteorological Organization’s CIMO Guide Editorial Board as HMEI representative. Mr. Lilja holds a MSc in Applied Physics from the Helsinki University of Technology.

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