Boston-based weather intelligence platform Tomorrow.io has announced the launch of a new Flood Risk Index to help prepare for and make proactive decisions ahead of severe flooding.
Tomorrow.io uses a mix of publicly available and proprietary hydrologic models, combined with 40 years of historical analysis of runoff and streamflow, to identify the risk of river and urban flooding up to five days in advance anywhere in the world, even in areas without many hydrologic observations.
The index is updated daily around the globe at a spatial resolution of 5.5 miles (9km), and soon will be updated more frequently in the USA at a spatial resolution of 0.6 miles (1km). Validation testing of the index for recent flood events has shown increased skill and added value over existing flood prediction products.
Shimon Elkabetz, CEO and co-founder of Tomorrow.io, said, “We are living in an era of consequences where, unfortunately, the tragic loss of life and damage to property and infrastructure from flooding and other severe weather will only get worse if we don’t increase our resilience to these extreme events. Our company is tackling this challenge from two different but equally important angles. We are both improving the accuracy, detail and timeliness of weather forecasts, and we are transforming how forecasts are translated into proactive actions that can save lives, reduce damage, improve operations and limit financial loss.”
Determining the risk of flooding at any one location involves a complex combination of factors including rain intensity, rain accumulation, previous rainfall amount, streamflow conditions, land surface type and topography, and the vulnerability of local infrastructure.
Tomorrow.io’s Weather Intelligence Platform automates the monitoring of these factors and sends alerts to assigned personnel based on location-specific criteria, such as a particular rain intensity, rain accumulation or flood risk level. The platform also can translate anticipated flooding into weather intelligence alerts that recommend pre-programmed actions, such as scheduling crews to clear debris from sewers or preparing to send a citywide wireless flood alert.
To further improve the prediction of floods, hurricanes, droughts and other extreme weather, Tomorrow.io is launching a constellation of small satellites equipped with precipitation radar starting in late 2022. The operational constellation of approximately 32 satellites will for the first time provide global, high-resolution measurements of precipitation updated every hour, dramatically improving weather forecasts for the five billion people worldwide who currently live outside of traditional ground-based radar coverage.