Meteorological forecasts enter the market
Meteosim, a spin-off from the Universitat de Barcelona, (UB, University of Barcelona) located in the PCB, aims to provide weather forecasts that are adapted to market needs and that can be used to improve business management and planning. These forecasts are very local-scale and take into account the specific geographical characteristics of the area in which a given enterprise is located. The information obtained, which Meteosim adapts to the individual requirements of companies, may be of great use for management decisions in sectors that are affected by the elements, such as ski stations, wind farms or ports.
Presided by Bernat Codina, professor and researcher of the Dept. of Astronomy and Meteorology of the UB, Meteosim is equipped with technology that is based on the Mesoscale Atmospheric Simulation System (MASS), a tool that has been used by this department in its research for many years. Operative under any atmospheric condition, MASS is a numerical modelling system that uses high performance computers. The data obtained describes atmospheric conditions at each point of the study area and provides forecasts at distinct time points. This model can work on a scale of a few kilometres if complemented with information on the features of the area (orography, vegetation cover, etc.) where the predictions are to be made. The MASS provides forecasts for up to 72 hours.
The Meteosim team members, some of which participated in the adaptation of MASS for use in our geographic region in the mid 90s, have specialized in the use of this North American model to obtain forecasts of variables such as wind, temperature, humidity, and waves and to present information adapted to the particular requirements of clients. In this regard, Meteosim has developed several products, such as Meteoneu (snow), which provides forecasts at distinct altitudes; valuable information with respect to planning maintenance tasks around ski station facilities and managing the production of artificial snow, and eWind, a information service on wind speed, direction and other related variables that are of use to wind farms, electricity and construction companies. According to Bernat Codina, “our activity stands out from the traditional meteorology that serves to satisfy little more than human curiosity. With the tools developed by Meteosim we make meteorology truly productive”.
Meteosim was set up with the participation of MESO Inc., a North American partner which provides technological support. Meteosim has a portfolio of clients that includes the Meteorological Service of Catalonia, TVC Multimèdia and the Sierra Nevada ski station.