LAMPO enhances the ability to forecast thunderstorms

The system tested in the Seveso river basin area

The activities of the LAMPO (Lombardy-based Advanced Meteorological Predictions and Observations) project have been concluded. The aim of the project was to test, in the real open-air laboratory of the Seveso river basin, a system capable of mitigating the risk of flooding and hydrogeological instability.

In an area that straddles the provinces of Milan, Como and Lecco, a network of nine GNSS stations has been installed to monitor the content of water vapour in the atmosphere, with the aim of improving the very short-term forecasting of thunderstorm phenomena.

The LAMPO prediction system uses a multi-sensor approach, integrating real-time meteorological network data and GNSS signal delays due to vapour in the atmosphere.

The use of GNSS to estimate water vapour on a local scale is currently limited due to the high cost of the receivers. The innovation introduced by the LAMPO project was the use of modern, low-cost instruments, which made it possible to set up a large number of measuring stations and thereby create a data flow capable of providing continuous water vapour estimates over the entire Seveso basin.

The prediction system, based on artificial intelligence algorithms capable of learning from past data when a storm occurs, accurately predicts the likelihood of heavy rainfall in 80% of cases in the greater Milan area and with a lead time of around 30 minutes.

The LAMPO project, financed by Fondazione Cariplo, was led by the Geomatics and Earth Observation Laboratory (GEOlab) of the Politecnico di Milano and involved the Hydro-Meteorological Service of ARPA Lombardia, the Politecnico spin-off GReD, the Department of Geosciences of the University of Padua and the Fondazione Politecnico di Milano.