Big data is playing a major role in predicting severe weather storms, helping weather experts to better understand the storms as they form and approach land. Data has been helping weather experts for many years now, but the smarter the data has gotten, the more accurate the predictions have become.
The speed of prediction and availability of new data sources are making this all possible. For previous large hurricanes in the last 3 years, weather experts have been able to gather the data needed and give the cities around 5 days warning- 5 more days than we had 100 years ago.
Super computers have been built that bring all of the data, whether it be from weather stations, aircrafts, or satellites, together to run against different weather models and predict almost exactly where the storm is going to be.
Although predictions of larger weather patterns are the biggest concern, these systems are also able to look at things like lightning patterns to warn people that may be outside for a specific event on that day.
Researchers are also using these super computers to not only save lives with their predictions, but also improve the quality of life. They are doing so by looking at things like tropical convection and monitoring El Niño and La Niña. Modeling what impact these will have on the weather goes on to improve our quality of life on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, we are not at the point where big data can stop these storms in any way, shape or form as they will run in whatever direction and with whatever force Mother Nature desires. With that said, however, it can help us to prepare for the damage that may come with; and any preparation can save not only a huge amount of money, but also a number of lives.