Joint Research Project to Establish Highly Accurate Weather Forecast Technology in the Osaka Bay area – Aiming to Contribute to Disaster Prevention and Environmental Problems in Bay and Urban Areas –

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Kyoto University Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Director, Prof. Eiichi Nakakita, and Osaka Gas Co., Ltd., President, Mr. Masataka Fujiwara recently announced that they will start a joint research project to establish accurate weather forecasting technology.

In general, localized winds so called land-sea breezes *1 occur in coastal areas. In addition, at the boundary between the sea and land, complex phenomena occur due to the unique behavior of temperature and wind. According to the Osaka Gas weather gauge installed in the Osaka Bay area, it is stated that there is a possibility that the temperatures are lower than usual, and the wind tends to be stronger in the inland and the bay area triggering a weather phenomenon characteristic.

Prof. Tetsuya Takemi of the Severe Storm and Atmospheric Environment Research Division, Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University and his colleagues are elucidating and predicting the development and organization processes of cumulonimbus clouds that cause localized torrential rains, as well as the conditions under which they occur, and the physical mechanisms of torrential rains and typhoons.

In 2008, Osaka Gas began weather forecasting using its own method *2. Since 2013, has been promoting the use of forecast results in its actual operations. In 2018, a weather forecast business license was obtained and established a system to provide weather forecast services outside the company.

In this joint research, observations and analyzes of local weather phenomena in the Osaka Bay area will be conducted by combining Prof. Takemi’s knowledge of mesoscale meteorological phenomena and Osaka Gas’ own knowledge of weather forecasts and meteorological data in the Osaka Bay area.  In addition, the evaluated accuracy of the current meteorological predictions owned by Osaka Gas, increased the resolution of simulations *3 , improved physical models (simplified atmospheric phenomena such as the process of cloud formation expressed in mathematical formulas). Combining resources by both parties, the project aims to establish highly accurate weather forecast technology in the same area.

The results obtained will be used to clarify the relationship between meteorological phenomena in coastal and urban areas’ weather and climate,  and contribute to disaster prevention and environmental problems. It is also envisioned that it will be used in smart cities, where various data services are linked such as in the Yumeshima area of ​​Osaka City*4.

The Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University and Osaka Gas have been conducting joint research *5 since December 2021 to predict phenomena such as extreme cold and heat waves over the medium to long term.


*1: Winds found in coastal areas, local wind circulation caused by temperature differences between land and sea. The wind direction changes from sea to land during the day and from land to sea at night.

*2: the feature is that it aims to aims to predict target area by dividing it into small meshes with high resolution and performing data analysis, it is possible to make detailed predictions that take into account the impact of topography, etc., and also combine machine learning based on observation data to improve accuracy.

*3: In Osaka Gas’s conventional weather forecast model, it was divided into 2.2 km square meshes assuming that the forecast target area is divided into small meshes of 500m to 1km square.

*4: “Building the Yumeshima Platform” was adopted by the Cabinet Office as a research project on the development and construction of cutting-edge services in super cities and digital rural health special zones. Osaka Gas is considering AI weather forecasting as a member of the Yumeshima Platform Review Council, which has entrusted the project ( )

*5: Announced on December 14, 2021, “Commencement of joint research on medium- to long-term weather forecasting -Early prediction of extreme cold and heat to contribute to stable energy supply-” (https://www.osakagas.