The vision is chilling. It’s another busy day. An employee arrives and logs on to the network only to be confronted by a locked screen displaying a simple message: “Your files have been captured and encrypted. To release them, you must pay...”

CloudCast – Weather Prediction On The Cloud

CloudCast – Weather Prediction on the Cloud

When you can crunch your Big Data on the Cloud with Amazon EMR, for example, why not shift weather simulation on the Cloud as well? CloudCast does pretty much this with their local weather prediction. Cloud’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) architecture is best suited for leveraging third party services for making them accessible on cross platform structures which can be further extended using the capacious capabilities of cloud computing to facilitate both enterprise level users and individual entities. Cloud is now being used for the facilitating people in their daily lives and CloudCast is the best example, a cloud based application that forecasts local weather for the next 15 minutes.

CloudCast originates from the ECE department at UMass as a research project (publication) and claims to successfully deliver localized weather forecast for the next 15minutes to your mobile device. It’s a new application for short-term, localized weather prediction. CloudCast has multi-platform support and its back-end functionality relies on Cloud virtualization, enabling users to get weather forecasts for short spans since the team claims that extremely bad weather incidents are isolated and local. CloudCast is of immense usability keeping in view the disasters taking place around the world and extreme weather conditions resulting in a great number of human casualties and financial losses. Experts are seeing this great new Cloud based application as a tool to deplete the consumption of resources in the weather forecast systems which are exhausting assets without any significant value addition. CloudCast can be used both as on-demand application in which the users will be notified about the upcoming weather condition or automated reminders can be turned on for example if severe weather is approaching the user’s location, CloudCast app automatically sends short weather forecast reports.

CloudCast works on specialized mechanisms at multiple levels to deliver both these functionalities. These algorithms have basically two primary components. The first part known as “Nowcasting” is an algorithm that generates fine-grained short-term weather forecasts (next 10 to 15 minutes) for areas as small as 100 sq. meters. Nowcasting has the potential capability to support customizations for the severe weather condition alerts by programmatically communicating highly important, targeted, location-based and time specific warnings to mobile devices based on their GPS coordinates and other location parameters in which GSM related services are also supported.

The second component is a new architecture that allows the execution of Nowcasting on cloud platforms, such as Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Google Cloud and other Cloud offerings so that users can use the CloudCast app in multiple capacities without any platform dependency issues and to leverage Cloud services, such as Amazon EC2, in order to minimize the cost of dedicated services and infrastructures.

By Salman UI Haq

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