Applications & Advantages of IoT-Based Extreme Weather Alert System

An IoT-based extreme weather alert system detects and alerts regarding potential extreme weather conditions using internet-connected sensors and devices that collect and transmit data in real-time. In this blog post, let us study how the system works, what its benefits are, and the different sensors and devices used in the system:

IoT-Based Extreme Weather Early Warning System: How It Works & Benefits
Published 28 Feb 2023Updated 28 Feb 2023
Autor Name

Kamal R

Table of Content

  • How does an IoT extreme weather early warning system work?
    • 1. Perception layer
      • 2. Communication layer
        • 3. Application layer
        • What types of weather events can an IoT early warning system detect? 
          • 1. Floods
            • 2. Volcanoes
              • 3. Forest fires
                • 4. Earthquakes
                • The role of IoT in providing real-time data for extreme weather early warning system
                  • What are the different sensors and devices used in an IoT-based early warning system?
                    • 1. Liquid-crystal Display (LCD)
                      • 2. Arduino Uno
                        • 3. WiFi module
                          • 4. Rain level sensor
                            • 5. Soil moisture sensor
                              • 6. Temperature and humidity sensor
                              • Benefits of an IoT early warning system for extreme weather 
                                • Can an IoT early warning system help prevent damage from extreme weather events?
                                  • How the system uses this data to generate alerts and notifications
                                    • Rising to the challenge of climate change through IoT

                                      Countries across the globe are disproportionately vulnerable to the dangers of natural disasters and often have few resources to minimize the severe impact of consequences. Due to high population density and inadequate evacuation infrastructure, developing economies are exposed more to extreme weather occurrences. 

                                      According to the World Bank, 91% of deaths are brought on by disasters in developing nations. The weather early warning system - powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) - helps prevent significant loss of life and property. In addition, it improves coordination between government authorities, local communities, and emergency response teams.

                                      An automated response to weather disturbances such as floods, storms, and earthquakes empowers them to prepare for potential disasters and act before they occur. Providing timely notifications of potential hazards helps increase the safety of citizens, and IoT makes it possible. Let us take a closer look at what smart technology offers regarding extreme weather warnings.

                                      How does an IoT extreme weather early warning system work?

                                      An extreme weather early warning system uses a simple IoT architecture, which constitutes the following:

                                      1. Perception layer

                                      The perception layer's job is to sense the environment and gather data from it - typically through sensors. In disaster monitoring scenarios, wireless sensor networks are frequently used.  They are made up of nodes with sensing and communication units that can fetch data from their surroundings.

                                      It then forwards the information to a gateway node that interacts and communicates with higher layers. These IoT sensors offer scalability, dynamic reconfiguration, dependability, compactness, affordability, and low energy usage.

                                      System architecture of IoT based extreme weather early warning system

                                      2. Communication layer

                                      The communication layer sends the information gathered and processed by the perception layer to a server, cloud service, or application. Routing, inter-network communication, and secure data transmission all fall under the purview of this layer.

                                      Both wireless and cable communication methods can be utilized to transmit data. Even though both wired and wireless communications have a chance of failing, in disasters and crises, wireless communications have typically proven to be the most effective.

                                      3. Application layer

                                      The application layer is at the top of the IoT-layered architecture. When performing operations or providing services, it leverages the data it receives from the communication layer. It combines the gathered data with historical, satellite, or weather forecasting data from other sources.

                                      The application layer employs algorithms to generate and disseminate alerts when a catastrophic event is about to occur. It can offer databases to hold historical data alongside real-time data. These can be used to perform forecasting and projections, among other functions.

                                      What types of weather events can an IoT early warning system detect? 

                                      An IoT early warning system is equipped with sensors that measure atmospheric pressure and temperature readings to provide real-time updates on current weather conditions. It can detect many weather events, including:

                                      1. Floods

                                      The Early Flood Warning System (EFWS) creates a platform that forecasts flood-like conditions. It prompts early action based on the rising water levels of water bodies.

                                      2. Volcanoes

                                      Experts can get real-time data regarding temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure using sensors embedded near craters. Seismographs measure vibrations, while calorie and gas detectors monitor changes in magma movement and calorie content.

                                      Volcanic eruptions can be predicted, and massive catastrophes can be avoided using these geophysical and geochemical approaches.

                                      3. Forest fires

                                      Early detection and forecasting of forest fires using an IoT-based early warning system allow firefighters to put out a fire in its early stages. An alert is sent to the concerned authorities with the precise location to prevent spread.

                                      4. Earthquakes

                                      Earthquake early warning systems project the ground motion of the detection site. They detect the first P-waves motion through network-based systems that use sensors placed in potential seismogenic sources. Such systems determine the location and magnitude of the earthquake.

                                      The role of IoT in providing real-time data for extreme weather early warning system

                                      IoT can provide an excellent opportunity for gathering real-time data for weather early warning systems. By incorporating IoT technology into the system, weather forecasts and warnings can be generated more quickly and accurately. 

                                      Data from sensors, cameras, and other devices connected to the internet can be used to monitor local conditions. This arrangement helps detect changes in temperature or humidity levels that could indicate an approaching storm.

                                      The information can then be sent to a central location where meteorologists process and analyze it to produce detailed forecasts with warnings of potential storms or severe weather events. IoT systems can handle vast amounts of data and extract usable information using heterogeneous hardware and network technology.

                                      The wireless sensor network (WSN) plays a crucial role in data collection and processing. Deploying various IoT sensor nodes enables one to track environmental conditions and collect data in real time. Leveraging Edge Computing, the system processes the gathered information sets to ensure accuracy and improve speed.

                                      Advanced weather prediction systems help meteorologists to accurately predict incoming storms or severe weather events several days in advance. The system can identify potential hazards such as hail, flooding, tornados, severe thunderstorms, and other extreme weather events.

                                      What are the different sensors and devices used in an IoT-based early warning system?

                                      These range from essential temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure sensors to more sophisticated radiation detectors, lightning detectors, weather satellites, and doppler radars. A basic IoT-based weather early warning system usually comprises:

                                      1. Liquid-crystal Display (LCD)

                                      This is a graphical display module used on the Arduino board to display text, numeric data, and graphics. It works with an array of liquid crystal displays and can create various interface elements such as buttons, menus, and indicators. The LCD uses two wire communication lines (SDA and SCL), allowing the user to control the screen's contrast, brightness, and color.

                                      2. Arduino Uno

                                      Arduino created the Arduino Uno microcontroller board. It is an open-source electronics platform built chiefly on the AVR microcontroller Atmega328. The current Arduino Uno model includes a USB interface, six analog input pins, and 14 I/O digital ports for connecting to external electronic circuits. Six of the 14 I/O ports can be used for PWM output. It enables the designers to manage and sense the external technological gadgets in the physical world.

                                      3. WiFi module

                                      An Arduino Uno with a built-in WiFi module is known as the Arduino Uno WiFi. An ESP8266 WiFi Module is built into the ATmega328P-based circuit board. The ESP8266 WiFi module is an integrated TCP/IP protocol stack-equipped self-contained SoC that enables access to a WiFi network (or the device can act as an access point). Uno WiFi also provides support for OTA (over-the-air) programming and updates, including the transmission of WiFi firmware or Arduino sketches.

                                      Sensors and devices used in an IoT-based early warning system

                                      4. Rain level sensor

                                      It is a type of water level sensor that helps measure the amount of rainfall. The data from this device can be used to trigger an alarm or alert based on predefined limits.

                                      5. Soil moisture sensor

                                      This device measures the moisture content of the soil. Because direct gravimetric measurement of free soil moisture necessitates the removal, drying, and weighting of a sample, the soil moisture sensor indirectly measures the volumetric water content along with electrical resistance, dielectric constant, or neutron interactions.

                                      6. Temperature and humidity sensor

                                      This sensor has a digital signal output and a powerful 8-bit microprocessor. It has exceptionally precise humidity calibration chambers and can sense indoor and outdoor temperatures using DHT11, a low-cost temperature, and a humidity sensing module with an accuracy of up to 2%.

                                      Benefits of an IoT early warning system for extreme weather 

                                      Early warning systems for extreme weather are crucial. They can avert human and financial losses by providing critical information for quick decision-making. An IoT-powered early warning system can offer various benefits:

                                      • It provides better information on the likelihood and severity of extreme weather events in an area so occupants can take preventive measures.
                                      • Alerts regarding severe weather conditions can be immediately sent on devices such as smartphones or computers in real time.
                                      • Businesses can temporarily shut down operations and take steps to protect their property in advance.
                                      Benefits of IoT based extreme weather early warning system

                                      • Government agencies can monitor conditions across large areas quickly and respond appropriately.
                                      • It helps identify affected areas for deploying resources and providing timely aid.

                                      Can an IoT early warning system help prevent damage from extreme weather events?

                                      We cannot completely stop or control extreme weather events, but environmental monitoring systems - combined with IoT - can help predict where a disaster may occur. The technology enables people in the affected area to take appropriate precautions, such as seeking shelter or evacuating the area before it is too late.

                                      In addition, IoT-connected devices such as automatic shutters on windows or doors can be used to protect homes and businesses from severe winds or flooding. The information gathered by the sensors can also be used to improve models of future weather patterns, helping one better anticipate and prepare for upcoming events.

                                      IoT technology enables local authorities to issue extreme weather warnings and allows for 24/7 monitoring of commercial and residential roofs through smart sensors.

                                      Property owners are alerted promptly if there is excessive water, snow, or ice on the roof, reducing the risk of collapse and increasing building safety. Additionally, the technology detects clogged drains early.

                                      How the system uses this data to generate alerts and notifications

                                      The Geographic Information System (GIS) mainly offers spatial information for adequate disaster management. It manages significant vulnerability and risk data volumes, particularly in weather forecasting.

                                      The development of multi-layer geographic databases using GIS and IoT significantly speeds up the process of geographical analysis and pinpointing the afflicted areas with remarkable accuracy. A weather sensor, data logger, data collecting server, database server, alarm server, and GIS server are the IoT system's six interconnected components that make extreme weather detection happen.

                                      IoT system components to detect extreme weather

                                      An SQL database-linked system can replace the permanent sensor infrastructure. The data is gathered and delivered by IoT-powered weathervane sensors, barometers, and hygrometers. The modular computer software solution acts as an early warning server and sends alerts to the desired entity via the selected delivery modes.

                                      It compares the measured value and triggers an alarm if it surpasses a specific threshold limit. Numerous channels, including SMS, email, and online social media, are available for the alert's distribution. 

                                      The weather data collected is stored in the database and can be retrieved at any time for further analysis. The GIS server establishes a relationship between the physical location of each sensor and its measured values, allowing users to create digital maps that display the latest situation in real-time.

                                      Rising to the challenge of climate change through IoT

                                      An IoT-based extreme weather early warning system helps in predictive forecasting by analyzing historical data sets. Therefore, reducing risks related to extreme weather conditions is helpful by providing alerts on time and improving accuracy in decision-making processes. If you want to build a similar IoT solution for your OEM business, book a free consultation with our IoT experts today!

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