Apparently, we can use our Smartphones to Predict Flash Floods


Our smartphones can be used for a variety of purposes, from finding stars on the night’s sky to reading the news and browsing for basic information. However, could we find out the real-time weather updates on floods or other such disasters? A new study tells us that yes, our smartphones are capable of doing it.

The study

The scientists believe that our mobile devices can be used not only for flash floods, but also for getting alerts for other natural disasters. That’s because they come equipped with sensors which can constantly monitor the environment. This includes the earth’s magnetic field, gravity, light levels, atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity or sound levels.

Approximately 3 to 4 billion smartphones from all around the world are capable of providing vital atmospheric data and by using this data, we will be able to better forecast the weather and natural disasters which are responsible for taking a lot of lives every year.

How does it work?

This research has been published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. For performing the study, the team of scientists used four smartphones, which have been placed in an environment with controlled conditions. After this, they gathered the data to see what they call ‘atmospheric tides’ and they also extracted data from an app called ‘WeatherSignal’.

Following this step, the scientists explained that the data was processed in real-time forecasts and the smartphone users received a forecast as a warning for what kind of danger they might encounter in their area.

Of course, we can’t prevent flash floods or other natural disasters from happening, but we have almost reached the time when our smartphones’ data can be used to generate better forecasts and by using them, the public will get proper information in real-time.


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