Our free Weather smart phone application allows users to make their own observations and follow weather observations reported by other users.
The Weather application's functionality for collecting users' own observations has been in use for two years now. So far, data has been conveyed to the FMI from more than 14,000 devices and approximately 50,000 observations have been recorded. The greatest number of observations were received immediately after the launch of the service in July 2017 and during the storm Kiira on 12 August 2017.
The Weather application allows each user to monitor observations made by other users in the map view over the past seven days. Accompanying observations with weather-related photographs is currently being tested.
Observations sent via the weather application are displayed in real time at the workstation of the meteorologist on duty at the FMI. Although the most enthusiastic citizens have sent weather observations via the application on a daily basis, more observations are still required. From the meteorologist's perspective, problems have arisen as the FMI has had to rely on individual observations so far.
The aim has also been to collect information for research purposes by means of citizens' observations. However, the amount of descriptive information on the findings has not yet been sufficient to be able to make reliable conclusions about the observations.
"If more observations were received, the information provided by citizens could be used for supplementing other material, and we could receive insight on smaller damage caused by weather," states Ismo Karjalainen, Project Manager.
You can still report your observations on the following summer weather phenomena:
Wind damage – did severe weather bring down trees?
Flood – has heavy rain cut the road off or is the cellar/basement full of water?
Hail – how large were the hailstones you saw?
Tornado – was the vortex over land or water?
Fog – does fog disrupt boating and other activities?
Is there precipitation or not? – is there precipitation where you are right now?
Thunder and lightning – did you see lighting or hear thunder?
Water surface temperature – where do you find the best temperatures for swimming?
Weather induced road traffic disturbance – are weather conditions making it difficult to drive?
The new test version of the Weather application has been implemented in cooperation with the storm chasers of the Ursa Association. Users who signed up for the test version (v. 2.3.0 beta 1) with a phone number can send photos of their observations to the FMI and other users of the test version. The aim is to obtain high-quality, real-time weather observations equipped with photos, for both meteorologists and citizens to see.
A test version of the Weather app is available for Android on the Google Play store. Android users can add themselves as beta testers.
Users of iOS devices who wish to sign up as testers can install TestFlight which is available on Apple's App Store and join the test group by following the link.
Manager of the citizen observations pilot project, Head of Group Ismo Karjalainen, email@example.com, tel. +358 29 539 2106