How Habistack takes a deluge of data to make accurate weather forecasts
September 27, 2022 by Rich Kurtzman, Brand Communications @ Fathym
In this piece:
- Introduction to Habistack, Fathym's powerful weather forecasting API
- Habistack's machine learning uses 15 types of data to forecast
- An overview of 16 weather forecasts Habistack can create
- Exploring some of the many industries Habsitack can help
Despite perceptions, when it comes to predicting the weather, meteorologists are actually right more than 80% of the time for five-to-seven-day forecasts. However, one of the reasons they are wrong is following their gut instinct.
What if we could take the human element out of weather forecasting and make predicting the weather more accurate?
That’s one of the goals of Fathym’s Habistack.
Habistack is a robust, feature-rich API that offers a powerful suite of weather forecasting and open-source data visualization tools.
Habistack combines the world's best weather forecasts with statistics-based, machine-learning techniques to tackle the largest datasets, including road weather. Habistack offers developers comprehensive weather forecasting capabilities over freely chosen locations and routes across the globe. The API delivers a unique suite of highly specialized forecast variables derived through statistically based machine learning models.
Let’s dive into all the data measured and then evaluated by machine learning within Habistack.
Habistack takes 15 data measurements from local, open-source weather stations to give accurate, real-time weather conditions both on the ground and in the air. That gives us – and everyone using it – the ability to not only know the weather on the ground, but also at 6 feet off the ground.
As you can see in the below graphic, there are multiple temperature readings, pressure, precipitation, snow depth, radiation (sun rays) and multiple wind measurements, too.
Put it all together and you get the clearest picture of the weather at any given moment, at any place in the world. As long as there are monitors nearby.
All of that data is stored in Fathym’s Microsoft Azure cloud, where Habistack then uses machine learning to look into the future and make predictions.
Different industries need different forecasts. Here are some of the different forecasts Habistack can create:
- Point and Multiple Point Forecasts
- Route and Alternative Route Forecasts
- Surface / Road Condition
- Road Temperature
- Weather Delay Risk
- Ambient Temperature
- Precipitation Amount, Type and Rate
- Wind Direction, Speed and Gust
- Barometric Pressure
- Relative Humidity
- Dew Point
- Snow Depth
- Cloud Cover
- 16 Hour CONUS Forecasts at 3-km Resolution
- 120+ Hour Global Forecasts at 13-km Resolution
Industries Habistack can help
Drought, flooding, hailstorms; there are many ways in which agriculture can benefit from the use of Habistack. Knowing if and when rain is coming means knowing when to water more, or less.
It can even help farmers know when the optimal time to plant is based on soil and atmospheric conditions. And when to spray pesticides, too; when the wind and rain is predicted to be calm or nonexistent.
One may wonder what the “radiation” sensors were for, and they are used to track how much sun an area is getting. That works hand-in-hand with solar energy. Those dependent on solar power can get an estimate of how much electricity they’ll have on hand.
Similarly, wind farms – and the energy companies who manage them – need to know what to expect in terms of electrical output. Not only for business dealings, but for the electrical grid, too.
Because solar and wind don’t provide enough energy on their own, they are backed up by coal, water turbine power as well as nuclear power in some places.
The catch is coal power plants take 24-48 hours' notice to fire up, so Habistack can help energy companies keep the lights on more efficiently.
Ever been planning to go to that special concert, at say Red Rocks Amphitheater for over a year and then get drenched without a raincoat? Or even worse, have the show rained out?
Habistack can help patrons of events like concerts be more prepared.
That goes for sporting events, too.
The NFL, for instance, plays through heat, wind, rain, snow; you name it! Some fans are crazy enough to brave the weather without even a T-shirt on in sub-zero temperatures. But for the sane ones, knowing what weather to plan for certainly helps keep the fingers and toes warm.
The MLB, on the other hand, needs more picturesque conditions. But fans don’t want to be caught in the 100-degree temperatures and high UV sun without protection. Habistack has you covered.
Rail is crucial for our economy, but older and worn rail lines can get trains off track; literally.
Yes, aging infrastructure can be managed through regular inspection and maintenance practices. Weather, though, can change rapidly and requires a more immediate need for knowledge.
Habistack allows trains’ conductors, the people receiving freight and/or passengers to know what the weather will be all along the route up to the second as it rolls through. That means knowing if heavy snowfall could halt the train, or where icy spots may persist and much more.
Daily commute and road trips
For many Americans, the transition from driving into the office and back home every day has changed to work-from-home opportunities.
For others, offices have reopened and people are commuting once again.
Habistack allows drivers to input their route and predict the weather along the entire way. That’s not just powerful for the daily commute, but for longer, multi-day road trips as well.
Living in a place like Colorado – where Fathym is headquartered – a road trip within just the Centennial State can mean elevation changes of 5,000 feet, driving treacherous mountain passes, and camping at elevation where the temperature drops greatly at nightfall. Be prepared and get the most out of your road trips with Habistack.
Airplane and helicopter transportation
Better, smarter forecasting for both where you take off and where you land.
Habistack takes the guess work out of planning for a vacation to some far off destination. And, it’ll help you not get stranded at the airport due to adverse weather conditions like snow, ice buildup on the wings, fog and strong wind.
The same goes for helicopter travel.
As people venture outdoors into the wilderness, accidents happen. Sometimes folks injure themselves too badly to hike back out of the woods once they’re in. That’s when the Flight for Life helicopters come in to save the day and save lives.
Again, back here in Colorado, some ski resorts even use helicopters to traffic skiers to the tops of mountains which don’t have lifts.
Drones and robots
Delivery robots are already cruising around downtown areas in some of our biggest cities. It seems likely their numbers will only grow over time.
Habistack forecasting helps keep those little, expensive delivery drivers on all four wheels, while avoiding big-time snowfall or possibly even flash flooding.
In terms of drones, Amazon is currently developing their fleet of drones which will be able to deliver packages in less than 60 minutes in some cases.
Those drones will also need to know about the many adverse conditions; wind, heavy rain, snow, whiteout, freezing temperatures, hail and more.
Habistack is extremely intelligent weather forecasting powered by machine learning and AI. It can be used in a wide range of industries to help them better predict and prepare for changing weather and for enterprises to be able to keep their workforce on track through inclement weather better.
Here's a look at how Habistack tracked Hurricane Ian and gave an evacuation route to Jacksonville from Tampa Bay, too.