Throughout history, numerous techniques have been employed to predict the weather with improved efficacy over time. Due to incredible technological advances, it is now possible to forecast the weather far into the future. However, weather forecasting could be thrown into chaos when the UK’s first 5G networks go live this summer.
The first 5G services will be launched across the UK in 2019, introducing faster download speeds and better responsiveness than current 4G technology.
But experts now believe the next-generation mobile signals may block our weather satellite signals, preventing them from predicting potentially deadly storms.
Interference from 5G wireless signals could cut the accuracy of forecasts by a third, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
NOAA head Dr Neil Jacobs said: ”If you look back in time to see when our forecast skill was roughly 30 percent less than it was today, it’s somewhere around 1980.”
Dr Jacobs made the shocking revelation while testifying to the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment.
He said residents in the US could get up three fewer days to ready for extreme weather events like hurricanes if 5G networks go ahead, putting thousands of lives at risk.
But it will not only be Americans’ lives on the line.
A global team of weather forecasts have cautioned the UK’s weather forecasts could also be affected.
Networks will result in poorer warnings about dangerous storms, and loss of life, they said.
Tony McNally of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts said: ”The way 5G is being introduced could seriously compromise our ability to forecast major storms.
“In the end it could make the difference between life and death. We are very concerned about this.”
The problem stems from the band of radio frequencies used by 5G.
Scientists are concerned that the 25 GHz band used for most 5G networks is too close to the 23.8 GHz band used for collecting data about Earth’s atmosphere.
Experts rely on this data – which helps them track air humidity, wind speeds and more – to make weather predictions.
Without accurate readings, it could mean warnings about incoming storms, as well as predictions of where they will hit, come far later.