Meteorologists and other scientists are sounding the alarm: the rush to deploy 5G wireless networks could set the clock back on weather forecasting by decades.
As this article at Wired details, the problem is that some of the frequencies the FCC is considering auctioning off for 5G spectrum is very close to frequencies used by important satellite-based tools that measure rain and snow, temperature, and the presence of clouds and ice in the atmosphere. That data is used in weather forecasting models that have become increasingly sophisticated and accurate over the years.
Dr. Neil Jacobs, acting chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), testified before a Congressional committee on the potential impact. As quoted in Digital Trends:
“If you look back in time to see when our forecast skill was roughly 30% less than it was today, it’s somewhere around 1980,” he said. In terms of practical impact, “this would result in the reduction of hurricane track forecast lead time by roughly two to three days.” -- Dr. Neil Jacobs, NOAA
The FCC and NOAA are trying to work out a compromise that would allow for expansion of 5G without reducing the effectiveness of weather forecasting tools.
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March 10, 2021
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