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CloudCast: Cloud computing for short-term mobile weather forecasts

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4 Author(s)
Dilip Kumar Krishnappa ; Electr. & Comput. Eng. Dept., Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA ; David Irwin ; Eric Lyons ; Michael Zink

Since today's weather forecasts only cover large regions every few hours, their use in severe weather is limited. In this paper, we present CloudCast, an application that provides short-term weather forecasts depending on users current location. Since severe weather is rare, CloudCast leverages pay-as-you-go cloud platforms to eliminate dedicated computing infrastructure. CloudCast has two components: 1) an architecture linking weather radars to cloud resources, and 2) a Nowcasting algorithm for generating accurate short-term weather forecasts. We study CloudCast's design space, which requires significant data staging to the cloud. Our results indicate that serial transfers achieve tolerable throughput, while parallel transfers represent a bottleneck for real-time mobile Nowcasting. We also analyze forecast accuracy and show high accuracy for ten minutes in the future. Finally, we execute CloudCast live using an on-campus radar, and show that it delivers a 15-minute Nowcast to a mobile client in less than 2 minutes after data sampling started.

Published in:

2012 IEEE 31st International Performance Computing and Communications Conference (IPCCC)

Date of Conference:

1-3 Dec. 2012