Rain of tweets: first results of the collaboration between DMC and IMFD Innovation Area

May, 2024 – The evaluation of a system that would allow extracting valuable information for hydrometeorological events from tweets generated by people in Chile: this is the first result of the collaboration between the Chilean Meteorological Directorate (DMC) and the Innovation Directorate of the Millennium Institute Foundational Research on Data (IMFD).

In a meeting with more than 50 participants from different areas of the DMC, Hernán Sarmiento, IMFD Innovation Transfer Engineer, detailed the results of the project called Feasibility Study of the Hydrometeorological Phenomena Impact Monitoring System, which was carried out over a period of five months.

Paola Uribe, Head of the Research and Technological Support Section of the DMC, emphasized that this “is a first step towards fulfilling the DMC’s commitment to provide meteorological information for the people and the State in an innovative way and with excellence”.


The presentation detailed the work that was carried out with data from the X platform (formerly Twitter) in a limited period of time: more than 18 million messages were processed between April 2022 and October of the same year, to arrive at a sample of 20 thousand messages related to hydrometeorological events.

One of the first challenges for the team was to narrow down the data to hydrometeorological events occurring in Chile and also to eliminate the “noise” of messages that do not refer to this topic but may be using those words. Then, it is necessary to associate and relate them to the real hydrometeorological events that happened in that period of time.

In this exploratory analysis, large language models (LLM) were used to code and categorize the content, and to define when a message is or is not informative (i.e., is or is not relevant to the DMC), also the type of information it refers to and the source of the information, to determine if it is a witness of the event or another source.

With this work, an architectural design was proposed for a monitoring software that would allow data collection, storage, processing and subsequent visualization, and the necessary infrastructure for the implementation of a project of this size was defined.

“We are very pleased to be able to work on this type of initiative, which seeks to support decision making by understanding the population’s issues. The objective of IMFD Innovation is to apply the knowledge produced at the institute to these types of cases, where the work of the researchers can have a use that benefits society. We are also very grateful for the initiative and interest shown by the team during the project. For us it is very important to be able to include innovative tools that can support their daily tasks”, emphasizes Hernán Sarmiento.

The Meteorological Directorate of Chile, under the General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics, is the agency responsible for meteorological work in the country, whose purpose is to meet the information and weather forecasting needs of all national activities. The study was developed thanks to the international ENANDES project, which is financed by the Adaptation Fund and implemented by the World Meteorological Organization in partnership with the DMC, and aims to improve capacities to adapt to the effects of climate change.

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