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Can a neural network recognize seasons? Solving a classification problem based on weather observations

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Title: Can a neural network recognize seasons? Solving a classification problem based on weather observations
Author(s): Kukkola, Johanna
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
Degree program: Master 's Programme in Mathematics and Statistics
Specialisation: Statistics
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2022
Can a day be classified to the correct season on the basis of its hourly weather observations using a neural network model, and how accurately can this be done? This is the question this thesis aims to answer. The weather observation data was retrieved from Finnish Meteorological Institute’s website, and it includes the hourly weather observations from Kumpula observation station from years 2010-2020. The weather observations used for the classification were cloud amount, air pressure, precipitation amount, relative humidity, snow depth, air temperature, dew-point temperature, horizontal visibility, wind direction, gust speed and wind speed. There are four distinct seasons that can be experienced in Finland. In this thesis the seasons were defined as three-month periods, with winter consisting of December, January and February, spring consisting of March, April and May, summer consisting of June, July and August, and autumn consisting of September, October and November. The days in the weather data were classified into these seasons with a convolutional neural network model. The model included a convolutional layer followed by a fully connected layer, with the width of both layers being 16 nodes. The accuracy of the classification with this model was 0.80. The model performed better than a multinomial logistic regression model, which had accuracy of 0.75. It can be concluded that the classification task was satisfactorily successful. An interesting finding was that neither models ever confused summer and winter with each other.
Keyword(s): Neural networks Convolutional neural networks Classification Seasons

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