Really pleased to announce that a consortium, led by Meniscus, has won funding for a Smart City project in a competition run by InnovateUK to deliver a real time hyperlocal rainfall prediction service. Other consortia members are Loughborough University (Design School), Anglia Ruskin University (Centre of Computing), Peterborough Environmental City Trust and Peterborough City Council.

The hyperlocal rainfall prediction project will look to deliver an app to the local residents of Peterborough to encourage them to use more sustainable methods of transport (mainly walking and cycling) around the city by removing one of their biggest concerns – namely – will they get rained on during the journey? By using a combination of real time radar rainfall data, rain gauges and weather stations already installed in schools around the city and rain gauges and weather stations around the city, we will look to track the actual rainfall as is it falling and predict the time and location of it falling in the city. By understanding the relationship between the radar data and the actual rainfall from the rain gauges we can increase the accuracy or when, where and how intense the rain will be. Users will be able to enter a journey, or schedule a journey in the future, and the app will advise them of the likelyhood of rain and even suggest an alternative time to start the journey. By tracking real rainfall as it is falling and correcting this to local conditions we believe that this service can deliver the sort of accuracy that will convince people to get on their bikes! The hyperlocal rainfall prediction project will also look to interact with local businesses by letting them offer discount vouchers for products and services that residents may want to use when it is raining.

We will keep people posted on progress as the project develops both here and on Twitter through @meniscusenergy