Technology has greatly improved over the years to predict catastrophic weather events. The next frontier is developing an accurate long range forecast.
In the next decade, U.S. Navy scientists hope -- with the use of submarine drones, satellites and mathematical models -- they we will have an accurate 90 day forecast.
Accuracy is key. The mathematical models must use more than land data for high performing forecasts. Submarine drones, like the Slocum glider, will provide this information from more places under the sea.
The goal is to bring together all the forecast models for water, land and ice. According to U.S. Navy Research Lab scientist Gregg Jacobs, this will give a more comprehensive extended range forecast -- out to 90 days.
Currently, the Slocum glider is being used to collect information on salinity and temperature throughout the ocean.
The Navy hopes to develop more drones in the next year. They would like to increase their numbers from 65 in use now to 150 by 2015.