Today’s Solutions: October 22, 2021

Lightning strikes may be beautiful to see, but the consequences of them can be brutal. For one, lightning kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. On top of that, lightning strikes can be detrimental to farmers as they can cause fires that can destroy millions of dollars’ worth of crops. Lightning belongs in the category of things that show nature is all-mighty, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be better prepared for when lightning will strike.

In Switzerland, a team of researchers has been working on an artificial intelligence system that can predict lightning strikes down to the nearest 10 to 30 minutes inside a 30-kilometer radius (about 18.6 miles). To do this, the team trained their machine-learning algorithm to recognize weather conditions that typically lead to lightning. Specifically, they used four variables, including air pressure at station level, air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed. 

After the algorithm completed its learning phase, it made correct predictions about new lightning strikes about 80 percent of the time. It’s the first time a simple model, trained on meteorological data, has predicted lightning strikes with live calculations. And since it’s based on existing data, it’s pretty cheap and simple to replicate.

Pretty nifty, especially considering that the only warning system for lightning has long been storm clouds.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

FDA takes steps to authorize over-the-counter hearing aids

A new policy from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to make hearing aids more accessible and affordable in the US. The new policy will make hearing devices available over-the-counter as early as next ... Read More

California grants leatherback sea turtles further protection

For decades, the population of the great Pacific leatherback turtle off the California coast has declined by 5.6 percent per year. To address this devastating loss, California’s Fish and Game Commission recently voted to list ... Read More

This crisis alert app provides crucial information to residents of Kabul

As conditions in Kabul continue to worsen due to the Taliban takeover, residents of the Afghan capital have been struggling to get accurate real-time information about what’s happening in the city. Three and a half ... Read More

World record broken for coldest temperature ever recorded

With our current knowledge of how temperature works there is no upper limit, this means materials can keep getting hotter and hotter to no end. This is not the case for lower temperatures, with the ... Read More

The scientific power of live music

We’re all familiar with the sense of wonder and joy we experience when we hear a song or piece of music we love, but there’s something even more magical about hearing that song performed live. ... Read More

5 Healthy cooking oils for a plant-based diet

Finding the right oil for your diet is a crucial part of maintaining your health—and is especially important for those who stick to a vegan diet. To minimize some of the confusion you may face ... Read More