Extreme weather events can arrive unannounced and cause immense harm for communities. Especially in cities where many people live in close proximity, events like flash flooding, windstorms or even heat waves can cause property damage, overworking of the emergency infrastructure and death. Unfortunately, because climate change continues to alter weather patterns, from subtle local variations to changes in global factors like ocean currents, these events are occurring with increased frequency. There is a great need for accurate monitoring and prediction systems that can help forecast these catastrophes. Monitoring overall changes in the patterns of these events will also help governments and citizens better adapt and plan measures to protect themselves from climate change’s inevitable impact. Professor Tomoko Matsui is an expert in the field of statistical spatial-temporal modelling. Matsui is heading up an international team of researchers at the Institute of Statistical Mathematics in Tokyo, Heriot-Watt University in UK and the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba to find ways for using a variety of data including low-resolution surface meteorological observation, time-series measurements of ground surface temperature by high-resolution satellite and social media.