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Previsico plans to leverage new €4.3bn Meteosat satellite system to deliver even faster and more accurate flood forecasts

Previsico plans to connect with the new Meteosat Third Generation satellite system, revolutionary for the rapid detection and nowcasting of severe weather events. This will enable Previsico to deliver more accurate and timely flood warnings to provide insurers and property owners with more time to mitigate flood impacts.

The Royal Meteorological Society has outlined how the UK is undergoing disruptive climate change, which is driving an expected five-fold increase in the frequency and magnitude of flash floods by the 2080s. This means flood losses are expected to increase tenfold to $1 trillion by 2050, according to the WRI, making it increasingly challenging for insurers to provide affordable cover.

The challenge, however, with existing weather forecasting technologies is that every storm is different, with hourly changes in weather patterns making them difficult to predict. The new Meteosat Third Generation system will provide 50 times more data than existing Meteosat satellites, once fully operational, greatly increasing the accuracy of future nowcasts.

Jonathan Jackson, CEO of Previsico, said: “The cost of flooding to the global economy is significant, well-known, and forecast to increase greatly in the future due to increasingly volatile weather caused by global warming. Yet many of these flood impacts are entirely avoidable with the right technology in place. The data from Meteosat will enable Previsico to take our already world-leading service to the next level.”

This first satellite of the new system, launched on 13 December, will help meteorologists meet one of their main challenges – the rapid detection and forecasting of severe weather events – so that more timely and accurate warnings can be given. The system will ultimately consist of three satellites in geostationary orbit, 36,000km above the African equator. They will provide images of Europe every 2.5 minutes, including the first observations of lightning from space.