Meteorological technology developer Atmo has partnered with Uganda’s National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) to switch on the first AI-based forecasting computer capable of predicting the weather for an entire country.
Atmo and UNMA have worked closely to develop the system since announcing their multi-year partnership in November 2021. While AI forecasting has been explored in the research community, this is the first time such a system has been activated by a government agency for full-scale use.
Dr Apuuli Bwango, UNMA’s chairman, said, “African countries leapt to wireless telecommunications while skipping copper landlines. With Atmo, Uganda is at the forefront to deliver improved weather products using AI-based technologies.”
Anna Prouse, vice president for government relations, Atmo, added, “We built this AI meteorology system for Ugandans, with Ugandans. Ugandan stakeholders told us what they needed from the forecast, and Atmo’s AI was trained to deliver it. Meaningful relationships like this are how we’re going to build new technologies for climate change together.”
Atmo is providing a version of its weather-predicting supercomputer, designed specifically for Uganda’s needs, along with ongoing training and support. The system, which is being installed in phases, is currently predicting precipitation cycles for the country. In the first two tests of the system, Atmo outperformed Uganda’s traditional weather modeling technology – accurately predicting precipitation when the legacy system did not. Over the coming months, Atmo and UNMA will work to complete installation, at which time the supercomputer will be capable of providing a full range of weather prediction and modeling.