Oceanographer wins BIG money in rainfall forecasting contest.
Rainfall forecasting model can serve world in predicting droughts and floods before they happen
Rainfall forecasting is big money!! For over 40 years, Ray Schmitt has been a physical oceanographer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. https://www.whoi.edu
Throughout most of his career he has studied the salinity variations of the ocean. The difference in salinity is because there are patterns in evaporation and rainfall over the ocean. The ocean contains 97% of all the water on the planet which makes it central to the whole climate system.
He says that all of the planet’s rainfall on land has to come from our ocean. People in the midwest don’t realize how far that moisture travels.
Back in the 1980s was when Ray began studying the water cycle. At that time nobody cared if it rained on the ocean. So it was kind of a neglected topic. But it paid off well as a research topic because he dove into the research when people were starting to realize that it was important.
Decades later he recruited his identical twin sons to enter a rainfall forecasting contest with him. The contest was hosted by the US Bureau of Reclamation with hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes sponsored by private companies.
The Bureau of Reclamation is part of the Department of the Interior and basically they manage many of the dams in the west and all of the hydro power stations. They are constantly evaluating whether to release water from a dam if rainfall is to be expected or save it for the drought. They Supply water to farmers all over the west.
The contest was pretty intimidating but we won.
So our model is useful and it would be great to see our technique expanded to serve the world. Check out their company: https://salientpredictions.launchrock.com
Besides rainfall forecasting, Ray also talks about climate change and failed legislation policies.
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