Weather warnings trial a success

Meteorological bureau employs big data in district projects to deal with problems before they occur. 

Trial projects making use of weather data to trigger early warnings have been a success in Yangpu and Xuhui districts, according to Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

In Yangpu, where waterlogging in rainy days has been a headache, early warnings have allowed authorities to take precautions to prevent roads being flooded.

“In 2017, we released a total of 20 alerts for heavy rain in urban areas. Seven early warnings on waterlogging in Yangpu were triggered, and in fact authorities just dealt with three incidents of waterlogging,” said Feng Lei, the city weather bureau's deputy director.

“We have changed from simply making weather forecast to predicting possible impacts in bad weather,” Feng said. “It’s important to take precautions rather than remedies.”

Xuhui District is connecting weather data into its big data platform, having data from weather, traffic and grassroots information shared and accessible to different departments.

“We will know under which weather conditions do neighborhoods produce the most domestic waste or in which days do rescue stations receive the most calls from the homeless,” Feng said.

The trials, still ongoing, are expected to be expanded to other districts, he said.

Shanghai Meteorological Bureau has more than 200 weather monitoring spots and two weather radars in Qingpu District and the Pudong New Area. It also has access to airport radar data.

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