“The fall is an unstable season” Fall is just around the corner. You can feel the wind blowing on your neck and see the early sunset and gray clouds. But here, at the IAF, we have been preparing for a while to welcome the most fickle season of the year.
Following a hot damp summer, we can finally feel the breezy winds of the fall. Just before the first rain and a bit after the sizzling sun, summer is starting to fade away. Change can also be recognized up above no less than the ground below: birds fleeing and conquering wide open spaces as the unstable weather fools even the greatest amongst the professionals.
“Fall isn’t referred to as a transitional season for nothing. It’s a very unstable season where we have to face very extreme poles of the weather going from hot summer to cold winter”, explains Major Ze’ev, head of radar technologies of the IAF and a former meteorologist. “Once there’s lack of stability, prediction tools aren’t efficient enough and can divert the temperature by a couple of degrees”. For the public, the change is minor, but when it comes to operational missions, accuracy has great significance. “During operations it’s really more important: pilots can face heavy clouds which couldn’t have been predicted beforehand”.
Solutions for problems brought with the fall are very difficult to foresee, but during a season that doesn’t allow stability, people of the IAF meteorology department found a way to become even more accurate. “Until a while back we had a hard time providing reliable long term weather predictions”, says Major Ze’ev. Last summer, for example the forces weathermen had a hard time foreseeing heavy mists that surrounded the northern bases and made it hard to train.
The prediction and identification unit of the equipment formation didn’t give up and let it get to them. In a first of a kind cooperation with the American Institute for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) people of the department built a model of mathematic equations that would allow the prediction of weather in given locations in a much more probable manner.
“Now, we have the ability to predict weather from miles away in a very accurate way. Today we can see cloudiness, precipitation and other weather challenges that we couldn’t get a clear view of before”.
There is no doubt that despite the tricky season, the upcoming weather predictions could be clearer than ever.