In research published in Science today, Google DeepMind’s model, GraphCast, was able to predict weather conditions up to 10 days in advance, more accurately and much faster than the current gold standard. From a report: GraphCast outperformed the model from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) in more than 90% of over 1,300 test areas. And on predictions for Earth’s troposphere — the lowest part of the atmosphere, where most weather happens — GraphCast outperformed the ECMWF’s model on more than 99% of weather variables, such as rain and air temperature. Crucially, GraphCast can also offer meteorologists accurate warnings, much earlier than standard models, of conditions such as extreme temperatures and the paths of cyclones. In September, GraphCast accurately predicted that Hurricane Lee would make landfall in Nova Scotia nine days in advance, says Remi Lam, a staff research scientist at Google DeepMind. Traditional weather forecasting models pinpointed the hurricane to Nova Scotia only six days in advance.[…] Traditionally, meteorologists use massive computer simulations to make weather predictions. They are very energy intensive and time consuming to run, because the simulations take into account many physics-based equations and different weather variables such as temperature, precipitation, pressure, wind, humidity, and cloudiness, one by one. GraphCast uses machine learning to do these calculations in under a minute. Instead of using the physics-based equations, it bases its predictions on four decades of historical weather data. GraphCast uses graph neural networks, which map Earth’s surface into more than a million grid points. At each grid point, the model predicts the temperature, wind speed and direction, and mean sea-level pressure, as well as other conditions like humidity. The neural network is then able to find patterns and draw conclusions about what will happen next for each of these data points.