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Artificial Intelligence applied to weather forecasting in Vietnam

The Vietnam Meteorological and Hydrological Administration has applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) in hydrometeorology monitoring and forecasting, making typhoon and torrential rain prediction more accurate.
Checking an utomatic weather station. — VNA/VNS Photo Bich Hue

Hoang Duc Cuong, deputy director general of the Vietnam Meteorological and Hydrological Administration (VNMHA), said AI relates to computer science and information technology. Humans make the nature of AI. They build algorithms programmed with information technology software tools, helping computers to handle intelligent behaviours like humans automatically.

The application of historical data and AI has created products. For example, he said that the trend of AI applications created positive results in the field of hydrometeorology.

He said the AI application in hydrometeorology is a trend, helping improve the efficiency of weather forecasting.

The VNMHA has built a shared digital platform for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, including a data integration system based on big data, especially the AI application in identification to solve specific problems for hydrometeorological monitoring and forecasting, he said.

He said that the department is researching AI applications in storm forecasting, heavy rain quantification and flood surge prediction.

Cuong affirmed that AI has been applied widely and replaced many manual jobs, saved labour, and limited some human errors.

He cited the COVID-19 social distancing period in July 2021 as an example.

Much of the time, hydrometeorological officers could not come to the office. Therefore, it was necessary to apply information technology, including AI, to monitor rain and flood level rain to accomplish the task. Thanks to AI, the weather prediction and monitoring work was completed despite the social distancing order.

Tran Quang Nang, deputy director of the Department of Hydrometeorological Forecasting Management, said the AI application helps improve the quality of forecast and hydrometeorological warnings, reducing disaster risks.

Mai Van Khiem, director of the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, said the centre used big data systems and AI in identifying upcoming tropical cyclones similar to the ones in the past to map out impact scenarios. AI has also been applied in forecasting extreme short-term rain and flash flood warnings.

Hydrometeorological sector modernised

In early 2021, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh issued the "National Strategy on Research, Development and Application of Artificial Intelligence towards 2030".

The strategy aims to make artificial intelligence a spearhead technology of the country in the fourth industrial revolution, gradually turning Vietnam into a bright spot in AI research, development and application in the region and the world.

AI is also one of the focuses of the digital transformation programme developed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The ministry sets a target by 2030 to bring Vietnam's meteorology and hydrology industry to the advanced level of Asia.

The VNMHA has studied AI applications in forecasting dangerous weather conditions and disasters. In the future, a hydrometeorological virtual assistant system that can automatically provide weather information to users will be developed.

Deputy Director General Hoang Duc Cuong said the AI applications would bring significant value, save time in professional activities, and speed up automation and digitisation of the hydrometeorological industry. 

Source: Vietnam News

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