When Severe Weather Strikes, It’s IoT for the Win

The Weather Company is currently leveraging one of the largest Internet of Things (IoT) platforms in the World, and it’s kind of a big deal.  Providing critical weather data to millions of people, The Weather Company can now keep governments and businesses in the know to help them better prepare for impending disasters. 

With over 200,000 stations in 195 countries, The Weather Company provides hyperlocal forecasts, with unprecedented accuracy. Each station is equipped with multiple sensors to keep tabs on things like barometric pressure, humidity, temperature, wind speed and direction, as well as other key stats paramount in the science and business of weather. These readings provide information which can lead to more precise and enhanced forecasting, helping governments, communities, and even businesses, better anticipate and act on changing weather conditions. 

“The Weather Company’s weather forecasting strength is based on more than 160 weather models and the expertise of more than 150 meteorologists to produce the most precise and accurate forecasts available,” said Mary Glackin, head of science & forecast operation, and senior vice president for public-private partnerships of The Weather Company. “We are committed to continuing to improve the accuracy of our forecast and working in concert with national meteorological services toward our goal of providing every person on the planet with the weather forecast information they need to be safe and prepared in the face of weather. As our climate continues to change, our mission will become even more critical.” 

The unique insights offered by these studies are applicable not just to individuals, but to individuals in aviation, power, insurance and other service-related industries.  Researchers and meteorologists will be able to use Watson IoT technology, with the aid of personal weather station data, to extrapolate upon current atmospheric models – enabling forecasters to potentially discover new predictive patterns in weather.   

In addition to providing data to further efforts in creating more advance warning systems, by integrating with the Watson IoT Platform, researchers can leverage the cognitive computing power of Watson to develop new systems and applications for use in precision agriculture, insurance actuarial analyses, and even help in optimizing recreational time.  NASCAR is already using some of this information to help drivers set up their race cars in accordance with the conditions, working to optimize car speed and performance. 

With the promise of more accurate forecasting, and the ability to gain a much deeper understanding of weather, the marriage of weather to platforms like Watson is serendipitous.  The collaborative efforts on the parts of those involved in this momentous effort will no doubt yield life altering results.  But, until the time comes that we are able to fully predict weather and anticipate the patterns, be ready, be safe.  June is here, and so begins another severe weather season. 

Karen Sams

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