דוקטורנטים מספרים - Hofit Shachaf
Monitoring Wildfire Risk Using Smartphones
Supervisor: Prof. Colin Price
My name is Hofit Shachaf and I am a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Prof. Colin Price.
Together we are exploring the possibility of using meteorological data by applying the sensors that are located in everyone’s smartphones, in order to study extreme weather phenomenon and maybe, in the near future, give real-time information and alerts to prevent the tragic loss of life and the destruction of property.
We received a “data donation” from the WeatherSignal App. Over a period of three and a half years, we collected data from about 40,000 users around the globe. During my first year as a Ph.D. student, I created a data base arranged by local time (hours, days, months and years) and by coordinates. This data base allows us to extract and analyze the information when and where it is needed for our research.
During the last couple of years, we have explored many interesting things based on the smartphone readings we obtained, starting with solar storms and magnetic fields, through an interesting finding that might connect earthquakes with barometric pressure and also searching for connections between solar eclipses and temperatures. Our latest work focuses on Fire Weather and Humidity readings from smartphones.
We have analyzed relative humidity anomalies from smartphones carried by the public, and have shown significant anomalies related to wildfire events in three different locations in the Mediterranean region.
We show that smartphone readings of relative humidity anomalies in these locations match closely the periods of severe dry weather that often lead to severe wildfires.