AI in weather forecasting, prediction and communication
Today, The Weather Company announced an extension1 of its relationship with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) to continue collaboration with UCAR in advancing the critical field of weather forecasting. Using The Weather Company and UCAR’s advanced science and technology capabilities, this collaboration aims to continue advancements in the area of numerical weather prediction (NWP), including improved accuracy and reliability, enhanced operational efficiency, better forecast targeting of underserved audiences or needs across industries globally, and more.
Previously, The Weather Company, UCAR, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research collaborated to develop a groundbreaking weather forecasting model that launched in 2019. GRAF is a supercomputer-driven weather forecasting system that provides high quality forecasts globally, reaching many parts of the world that did not have that access before, nor as frequently.
We believe open collaboration among governments, businesses, and researchers is critical for advancing our collective understanding of forecasting science, severe weather and climate change, in addition to developing tools that allow our society to prepare for and respond to these challenges. The Weather Company, as part of IBM, will continue working toward establishing these relationships and encouraging collaboration across the forecasting industry.
IBM and The Weather Company have built strong relationships in research and academia, also working with The University of Oklahoma in its establishment of a new U.S. National Science Foundation-funded AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate and Coastal Oceanography. The AI Institute is deploying artificial intelligence at scale to analyze the immense amounts of data from satellite systems, ground observations, numerical weather models, and even mobile phones around the world.
With its digital weather brands, The Weather Company has established itself as a trusted resource for consumers as well, powering the weather for technology giants like Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Samsung to share its forecasts with over two billion devices around the globe. In fact, its consumer brand, The Weather Channel, is one of America’s top-5 most trusted brands.2
The most recent, record-breaking hurricane season of 2020 underscores the immense scale of The Weather Company’s weather operations. In the month of August, coinciding with coverage of Hurricane Laura, the consumer brands sent 500 million breaking news alerts, welcomed 54 million daily visitors, and delivered 189 million video views.
IBM strives to continually apply science and technology to help solve the world’s toughest problems. IBM embodies the idea of putting smart to work and is using advanced technology, including blockchain, AI, machine learning, and analytics, to make a positive impact on the world.
Likewise, The Weather Company aims to help people make informed decisions and take action in the face of weather. We offer accurate, personalized, and actionable weather data and insights to millions of consumers, as well as thousands of marketers and businesses via Weather’s API, its business solutions division, and its own digital products from The Weather Channel (weather.com) and Weather Underground (wunderground.com).
1 An extension to the memorandum of understanding was signed September 28, 2020.
2 According to a Morning Consult May 2023 survey: https://pro.morningconsult.com/analyst-reports/most-trusted-brands-2023 The Weather Channel brand was the #9 most trusted brand in the US. The surveys were conducted from 3/3/2023 through 4/3/2023, among a nationally representative sample of 799 to 8,434 U.S. adults.