Grand Canyon National Park during a thunderstorm, Arizona, USA
© spkeelin/Getty Image
Predicting the unpredictable. World Meteorological Day
We’re marking World Meteorological Day with this stunning thunderstorm over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA. Today, 23 March, is the day to tip a sun hat or raise an umbrella to the experts in the field of weather prediction.
This year, the UN-sponsored event focuses on early warning and action to predict extreme weather events and mitigating or preventing the ensuing damage. Worldwide, floods cause more than £30bn in damage each year and are the most common type of natural disaster. But accurate predictions and warning systems can help people in flood-prone areas to plan accordingly.
Thanks to hydrometeorology – the study of water in the atmosphere, particularly precipitation - forecasts can predict the impact days and weeks ahead and, in some cases, can even give an idea of what’s coming several months from now. Forewarned is forearmed after all.