Scalable digital sensors of the skies and soils: An Internet of Things approach to improve farm-scale weather forecasts of extreme heat, drought and rainfall
Extreme weather is a serious threat to agriculture, economic vitality, human safety, and physical infrastructure in farming communities throughout the world. Climate change is likely to increase the risk of severe weather, particularly heat waves, droughts, and floods. To flourish in spite of these hazards, farmers, growers, agro-business, and food producers require a toolkit of political, infrastructural, and technological resources to manage the risk of extremes. Numerical models of weather and climate will be among the most important of these tools because they empower decision makers with information to anticipate and prepare for consequential events. The proposed research will monitor and forecast key variables for predicting extreme weather at State, County, and Farm scales in the Northeast by leveraging an existing wireless “Internet of Things” (IoT). We will develop open source tools for numerical weather and climate prediction to empower decision makers with information to anticipate and prepare for consequential events, and to provide farmers, growers, agro-business, and food producers with a toolkit for predicting key hazards to agriculture, particularly during the warm season when extreme rainfall, heatwaves, and droughts often exact severe crop losses.