Study Shows Smartphones Could Be Used To Predict Flash Floods

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Smartphones can be used for many things, like find stars on the night sky, read the news, browse for information on the internet, play games, pay bills and much more. But would we be able to get real-time weather alerts on floods and other weather disasters? Until now, the public has used feedback look to get last moment atmospheric data via an app from the “cloud.”

Smartphones can measure atmospheric pressure, humidity, and temperatures, but a new study suggests these devices could anticipate and track weather patterns and warn the public about incoming flash floods.

According to the researchers, smartphones can be used not only to forecast flash floods but also other natural disasters. The lead researcher of the study and a Professor at the Tel Aviv University, Colin Price, explains what smartphones could be able to do with a few sensors:

“The sensors in our smartphones are constantly monitoring our environment including gravity, the earth’s magnetic field, atmospheric pressure, light levels, humidity, temperatures, sound levels and more. Vital atmospheric data exists today on some 3 to 4 billion smartphones worldwide. This data can improve our ability to accurately forecast the weather and other natural disasters that are taking so many lives every year.”

Sending Better Forecast to The Public’s Phones In Real TIme

The study was published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. The team of researchers used four smartphones and placed them under controlled conditions. They gathered the data to see “atmospheric tides,” also analyzing data from an app called WeatherSignal.

Researchers explained that the data was processed into real-time forecasts, going back to users as a forecast to warn the people of the danger from their areas.

“We can’t prevent flash floods from happening, but soon we may be able to use the public’s smartphone data to generate better forecasts and give these forecasts back to the public in real time via their phones,” concluded Colin Price.

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.