NOAA Acting Chief Neil Jacobs told the Environment Subcommittee that interference from 5G devices could reduce the accuracy of weather forecasts by 30%. This is roughly equivalent to the accuracy of weather forecasts since the 1980s. And all this at the cost of a new technology that increases the speed of wireless data transfer by an order of magnitude.
To many it may seem that the problem is minor. However, the failure of the weather forecast can turn into a real catastrophe when it comes to hurricanes and other cataclysms. The wrong prediction about the behavior of a tropical storm or tornado can turn into huge financial losses and a blow to the economies of many countries.
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The problem is related to the 24 GHz frequency band, which the FCC began selling at auction to wireless operators in March. According to Jordan Herth, a meteorological researcher at the University of Wisconsin, water vapor emits a weak signal in the atmosphere at a frequency of 23.8 GHz, which is very close to the 5G transmission channel.
Worse, the problem is not limited to the 24 GHz band. Future FCC auctions are close to those used to detect rain and snow (36–37 GHz), atmospheric temperatures (50.2–50.4 GHz) and clouds (80–90 GHz).