Meteorologists claim 5G phones could reduce the accuracy of weather forecasts by 30 percent

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

5G networks have the potential to advance wireless data transmission by orders of magnitude, but at what cost? According to meteorologists, it’ll be to the detriment of weather forecasts.

NOAA Acting Chief Neil Jacobs recently told the House Subcommittee on the Environment that interference from 5G devices could reduce the accuracy of weather forecasts by 30 percent. That’s roughly equivalent to the accuracy of weather predictions from 1980.

Minor inconveniences aside, a setback of that caliber would give coastal residents two or three fewer days to prepare for a hurricane and lead to incorrect predictions of a storm’s path to land.

The issue is related to the 24-gigahertz frequency band that the FCC started auctioning off to wireless carriers in March. According to Jordan Gerth, a research meteorologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, water vapor emits a faint signal in the atmosphere at 23.8 GHz which is very close to what is being auctioned off.

“We can’t move away from 23.8 or we would,” Gerth told Wired.

Worse yet, the issue isn’t limited to the 24 GHz band. Future FCC auctions are close to ones that are used to detect rain and snow (36 – 37 GHz), atmospheric temperature (50.2 – 50.4 GHz) and ice and clouds (80 – 90 GHz).

Lead image courtesy Andrey VP via Shutterstock

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VBKing

TS Enthusiast
"...would give coastal residents two or three fewer days to prepare for a hurricane and lead to incorrect predictions of a storm’s path to land."

WHAT? Are you telling me meteorologists won't be able to figure out when and where hurricanes are forming anymore and where they're heading? How about this then. You hire a dozen 10-year old kids and take a satellite picture over the ocean every hour (pictures which are already being taken) and let those kids tell you when they've spotted massive storm clouds forming in the oceans and let them tell you which direction it's heading when they look at each picture in succession.
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Well, weather forecast is usually off by 300%. I think I can live with an extra 30% of uncertainty.
Right? I was wondering what -30% of 0 was, myself. If "meteorologists" had accuracy ratings, not a single one would have a job.
Personally, I think the commercial sites, I.e., you name your non-National Weather Service web site, have an economic incentive to be incorrect. If their forecasts are incorrect, people will keep clicking back on those sites trying to get an accurate forecast which will never come, of course, and thus generating ad revenue in the process.

For me, it seems the National Weather Service forecasts, though not always accurate, are much better than the commercial sites.

However, I think it is unfortunate that the FCC is selling these particular frequencies. I guess they are giving everyone a piece of the, not so knowledgeable, Pai.
 
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TheDreams

TS Evangelist
Well apparently its supposed to be raining right now but its sunny and 70 degrees so I don't think it'll be too much of a problem.
 

Dimitrios

TS Guru
Oddly the weather stations were more accurate in the low to mid 1990's than now. Maybe it's done on purpose so people constantly visit the site or tv so the news agency makes more in commercials and ads????
 

PEnnn

TS Addict
"The issue is related to the 24-gigahertz frequency band that the FCC started auctioning off to wireless carriers in March. "

Strange how ONLY AFTER the FAA and its imbecile boss sold the frequency that this suddenly became known....
 
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Kytetiger

TS Enthusiast
I think residentials are the last target for meteorologist.

I think that the main user for these informations are aviation, transport, logistic, agriculture, renewable energy (wind and solar), fishing, insurance companies, military, etc.
 
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p51d007

TS Evangelist
I just use NOAA's site, the rest, specifically, the "tv news" weather sites are terrible. But, the first hint of a storm/tornado (I live in tornado alley), they break in every 0.0023 seconds to show you their fancy graphics and crap.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
"The issue is related to the 24-gigahertz frequency band that the FCC started auctioning off to wireless carriers in March. "

Strange how ONLY AFTER the FAA and its imbecile boss sold the frequency that this suddenly became known....
IMO, it has always been questionable as to whether Pai had or has any aptitude for technology.
NOAA didn't predict this either... 5G wasn't working then, now it's kinda sorta almost too late, why?
IMO, NOAA has no fault in this. The FCC licenses frequencies for use, and it is up to the FCC to ensure, through public notifications and comment periods at the least, that proposed licensing does not interfere with extant systems.

As I see it, the FCC literally blew this one - pun intended.

In some respects, the Pai era seems like "The Corporate Rubber Stamp Era" for the FCC.
 

Athlonite

TS Booster
For 50 years I've used the look out the kitchen window method weather forecasting and it's never let me down yet Unlike weather programs or apps
 

Kraemepoo

TS Enthusiast
I searched but could not find any test of this concern. Sounds like they saw it was close to the frequency and came up with worst case effects without ever having tested the theory.
 
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Markoni35

TS Addict
Yeah, because Huawei is best in the world in 5G... suddenly 5G would reduce weather forecast accuracy. LOL. So low... really... so low...