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Mobile Phone Network Towers Measure Rainfall In Netherlands

You might be aware how the rains can affect the performance of cell phone signals but researchers at Wageningen University and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute took this phenomenon and put it to scientific use. The difference of signal strength between different ‘links’ in the network provides an estimation of the amount of precipitation between two towers and by plotting an area between multiple links give the rainfall estimate in a specific area. The institute acquired the signal strengths from 2,400 links operated by T-Mobile NL, over two 12-day periods in 2011 and calculated the rainfall and measured it with weather radar and rain gauges and found that the results were pretty accurate.

[caption id="attachment_45827" align="aligncenter" width="624"][​IMG] The mobile network data (left) were shown to be nearly as informative as radar and rain gauges (right)[/caption]

This method can be put in areas where there are no radars and in areas where the number of rain gauges are in decline. According to Aart Overeem of Wageningen University this technology makes individual tracking of rain showers and their movement over an area much more feasible.

Read more at: BBC

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