Drones Predicted to Help with Weather Forecasts
One research group at the University of Alabama-Huntsville is hoping to give local meteorologists more access to upper air data by simply using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or UAV. The target year is 2031. But for many in the field of weather, the time couldn't come sooner.
Right now, meteorologists at National Weather Service offices and universities across the country launch weather balloons, usually twice per day, to collect weather data at certain levels of the atmosphere. But the problem with these balloons is retrieval (not to mention the cost.) It's estimated only 20% of them are actually found and returned.
But by using UAVs, you can target a certain location when and where you need them. This way you can get current atmospheric information perhaps even in the middle of a storm.
Starting September 20, 2015, drones will be allowed to use the same airspace reserved for commercial pilots. This will make it easier to utilize this type of modern, meteorological technology.