Recounting the past year’s natural disasters, the country started with strong typhoons resulting to ubiquitous landslides and memorable floods. Earlier this year, it was droughts, unproductive farmlands and the irritating situation of not having water at home. All these are connected to one central problem – our inability to predict how much rain we are about to receive. It is easy to ignore this as a problem for we have already surrendered to the idea that Philippine weather is impossible to forecast. But what if we can? This is the idea behind the Climate Experiment Project (www.climateX.ph). It is a collaboration of scientists and engineers from UP, ASTI and PAGASA and funded through DOST. Using available satellite imagery on the web, data from PAGASA and locally-developed software, the ultimate intent of the project is to provide estimates of the timing and intensity of rainfall on an hourly basis, anywhere in the Philippines. A bold task for a one-year, nine hundred thousand peso project, but the team is up for the challenge. At the very least, we should be able to install a system for weather forecasting which can be built upon and improved until we can issue useful forecasts such as, “Sunny the whole morning, mild rain shower from 4-5PM in the UP Diliman area.”
“Sunny with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms” – CP David
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