As of today, everyone can receive the most operative and up-to-date weather information from the first national weather application of Estonia, ILM+. The new mobile application created by the Environment Agency transmits location-based weather forecasts and push notifications for dangerous weather events directly to the smart device screen of the user. In addition, weather enthusiasts can upload their own observations directly to the application.
The new application transmits the Estonian weather forecast and uses the data of the observatory network of weather stations and radars of the Environment Agency, one part of which is the state weather service. In the new application, you can find, for example, location-based weather forecast, observation data from weather stations, remote sensing results, an ice map, your favourites functions, and more.
Two special features make the mobile application special compared to other weather applications: location-based push notifications of dangerous weather events and warnings directly on the device screen of the user and observations of other users, Kairo Kiitsak, a weather forecaster at the weather service of the Environment Agency, introduces the application.
‘We invite users to share weather information about their location with others, which gives them the opportunity to be a weather observer. Observations of weather enthusiasts are an important input to the services of the Environment Agency because the data of weather enthusiasts help to better map different weather phenomena and verify events,’ said Kairo Kiitsak.
Kiitsak added that the weather forecaster also continues to play an important role, monitoring and analysing the weather on a daily basis, and also contributing to the fact that weather information is understandable and available in different channels.
‘You might ask why we need another weather application. One of the reasons why we have developed the national application is related to global warming, which is increasingly leading to extreme and dangerous weather events. As a result, the need to warn the population and officials in a timely and high-quality manner in order to react to dangerous weather phenomena has become increasingly important,’ commented Taimar Ala, Director-General of the Environment Agency.
Taimar Ala added that it is also important that users can forward the weather observations made by them to the weather service of the Environment Agency, thus contributing to the quality of weather forecasts and warnings.
‘With the help of such functionalities, we popularise weather observations and draw attention to the weather, including dangerous weather phenomena, as well as raise awareness on climate change,’ said Ala.
The weather application is available in Estonian, English, and Russian. ILM+ can be downloaded from both Google Play and App Store.
The application cost around 55,000 euros and was funded by the Cohesion Fund of the European Union. The hydrological and meteorological monitoring network of the Environment Agency has also been renewed within five years from the same fund.
About nine out of ten Estonians have a smartphone and 95% use it several times a day. A smartphone has become an important tool for many tasks, including those day-to-day operations where weather information plays an important role.
The Environment Agency is committed to ensuring that the highest quality environmental data, including weather data, is available for everyone. The field of activity of the Environment Agency is the implementation of the national environmental monitoring programme, preparation of national and international environmental reports, assessment of the state of the environment, provision of vital services, including weather forecasting, and maintenance and renewal of monitoring stations, tools, and equipment.
Read more about the new application HERE.