Skyfora launches new AI tool and weather sonde to improve tropical storm forecasting

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Weather intelligence company Skyfora has launched two new products aimed at improving the accuracy of tropical storm weather forecasts. The company, based in Helsinki, Finland, and formerly known as Hurricane Unwinder, has also raised €600,000 (US$716,000) in a funding round led by Voima Ventures, and will use the investment to further strengthen its team and R&D efforts.

The two new products include the Tropical Storm Tracker, which uses AI to utilize the full resolution of satellite images to forecast tropical storms with high accuracy. Meanwhile, Skyfora claims its new weather sonde, the StreamSonde, is the lightest and most sustainable weather sonde currently available on the market.

“Working with us, weather measurement institutions, weather stations and atmospheric researchers can measure weather more precisely while reducing the environmental burden of weather measurement debris. In fact, our weather sonde is 10 times lighter, multi-purpose and reusable, and thus our solution is significantly more sustainable. Additionally, insurance companies, financial institutions and emergency management professionals are able to provide improved services for people and businesses with our AI-empowered severe tropical storm forecasting model,” said Skyfora’s co-founder and CEO Svante Henriksson.

According to Skyfora, the StreamSonde floats freely with the winds of the atmosphere after launch from an aircraft, balloon or drone. As a result, the increasing number of storms caused by global warming and other weather phenomena can be scanned at greater detail than ever before. The high-resolution data feeds numerical weather predictions and emerging AI-powered weather and hurricane forecasts, such as the Tropical Storm Tracker.

Henriksson has a long research career in climate modeling and atmospheric science. His latest research project into hurricanes at the Finnish Meteorological Institute was developed into a commercial concept in collaboration with experienced entrepreneur Antti Pasila, who later became a co-founder of Skyfora. The concept won the highly esteemed Copernicus Masters Disaster Management Award in December 2018 and the company was formally founded in 2019. Until the end of 2020 the company was part of the European Space Agency Business Incubator.

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for more than a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and has since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and automotive to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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