Tomorrow.io, a global leader in MicroWeather forecasts, announces the launch of an initiative to tackle one of the root causes of global poverty: lack of access to reliable localized weather information.
The weather technology company has established a new, independent non-profit organization whose sole focus will be to save and transform lives by bringing MicroWeather Solutions to areas currently underserved by traditional means but need it the most. Beginning in East Africa and working together with local governments, NGOs and local communities, Tomorrow.io’s initiative aims to facilitate the rapid and collaborative implementation of novel technological approaches, and adoption of critical weather warnings and insights. To save lives, the initiative’s impact areas will focus on zero hunger, infectious disease eradication, and early warnings.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, more than 100 countries – over half of them in Africa – need to modernize their weather services. In order to start closing the weather gap, African countries would have to invest in $2 billion worth of equipment and a minimum of USD$400 million per year to cover the costs of staff, operations, and maintenance. This is not feasible.
Despite the challenges, there are huge opportunities for positive change:
- Zero Hunger: Climate variability affecting rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, and climate extremes such as droughts and floods, are among the key drivers behind the rise in hunger. Access to reliable localized weather forecasts can play a critical role in nourishing the 821 million people who still suffer from hunger today, and the additional 2 billion people who are expected to be undernourished by 2050.
- Infectious Disease Eradication: Shifts in weather patterns could have enormous implications for human health, especially for the burden of vectorborne and waterborne infectious diseases. Access to reliable localized weather forecasts has the potential to support the local teams working hard to prevent and control outbreaks of infectious diseases, saving millions of lives annually.
- Early Warnings: Estimates show that upgrading hydro-meteorological information production and early warning capacity in developing countries could lead to an average of 23,000 saved lives every year, and between 300 million and 2 billion USD annually in saved assets that otherwise would have been lost to natural disasters.
TomorrowNow will close the weather gap by harnessing its proprietary technology stack. First, the company will use its unique method for building a dense network of observation points, including virtual sensor network, satellite data, and ground-truth weather stations. Then, Tomorrow.io will generate timely insights that can be used in real time via highly adaptable, proprietary, cloud-based high resolution weather models. To maximize access, Tomorrow.io technology can quickly disseminate weather information via computer, radio, and mobile devices.
But TomorrowNow.org goes much further than applying hi tech to a worthy cause. The initiative will also bring global technology partners together with community-based organizations across Africa. The goal of these collaborations will be to develop and deliver innovative localized weather forecasting solutions that are economically viable, long-lasting, and truly inclusive in reach.
“TomorrowNow.org is the reason the company was established. Weather should no longer be a source of fear across Africa, much less a root cause of poverty across the continent. We are close to the eradication of many infectious diseases in some of the poorest communities because of the incredible collaborative efforts of NGOs, governments and the private sector. We can learn from this approach. MicroWeather technology has the potential to bring hope to billions, but it takes a village. We’re proud to have embarked on this journey,” commented Shimon Elkabetz, the CEO and Co-Founder of Tomorrow.io.