The Storm Chasers Making Life-Saving Forecasts


Weather forecasters in Africa are getting access to satellite data that will allow them to track the path and severity of developing storms – and reduce the death toll from extreme weather events.

An initiative called African SWIFT has enabled meteorologists to make accurate, hour-by-hour forecasts as severe weather approaches, a technique known as 'nowcasting' – very-short-range weather forecasting.

The project was led by the University of Leeds with nearly £8 million from the UK’s Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.

Professor Doug Parker, Professor of Meteorology at Leeds and co-lead of African SWIFT, explained: "The essence of a nowcasting alert might be 'there is a storm very close to you, and it is heading your way.' Users can understand this message and recognise the kinds of action they need to take.

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Image via University of Leeds