How Towers Predict Stormy Weather

October 13, 2017

Reprinted from Inside Towers

The number of weather stations around the world is shrinking due to belt-tightening measures, making it harder to forecast flash floods and landslides. Fortunately, the global omni-presence of towers can be utilized to measure rainfall inexpensively by using existing, widespread equipment, according to The Economist.

So how does the rain detection via towers work?

Because rain weakens electromagnetic signals and many mobile-phone towers, especially in remote areas, use microwaves to communicate; a dip in the strength of those microwaves could reveal the presence of rain. This could provide an answer to areas that have been swept away by mudslides because no one knew how much rain had actually fallen beforehand, according to Modeste Kacou, a rainfall expert at Félix Houphouët-Boigny University in Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast.

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