Using Ai & Big Data To Predict The Weather
WeatherOptics, a new and promising weather data analytics firm based out of Manhattan, is changing the way businesses look at the weather. Rather than simply providing descriptions of incoming weather, WeatherOptics analyzes raw data using a unique combination of proprietary algorithms and expert forecaster insight to determine how the weather will specifically impact a given business or industry.
This was the message that founder of WeatherOptics, Scott Pecoriello, gave me when talking about the significance of his startup. WeatherOptics began as a weather blog run by Pecoriello before it transformed into a disruptive tech startup at the end of 2016. The company started working with small scale businesses, such as summer camps, before expanding its reach into different industries to “test the waters.” The startup currently has twelve employees, including a small team of engineers and meteorologists. The data side of the company is run by Jared Goldberg, while the meteorology side is run by Joshua Feldman, both of whom sat down with me alongside Scott. The three of them are optimistic about their company, and believe they are in the perfect time and place to change how the industry operates.
WeatherOptics Co-Founders Scott Pecoriello, Joshua Feldman & Nate Argosh
WeatherOptics created their product through the combined efforts of data engineering and creative meteorological analysis. Their algorithms take raw weather data and translate it into readable datasets. The AI then figures out how that weather is going to impact roads, flights, power outages, and so on. The meteorologist acts as a check on the artificial intelligence, making sure that nothing is erroneous and adding a degree of human insight into the calculation. The dataset the company uses focuses on the last 5 years of recorded weather data, ensuring current weather trends are accounted for. Additionally, as more data pours in, the machine learning technology only gets better and better - reminding us once again that data is king.
According to The American Meteorological Society, the weather currently has nearly a $485 billion-dollar impact on the United States economy. WeatherOptics has targeted this issue using analytical models designed for weather-business impact. In their own words, they speak in terms of road conditions and power outage threats, not pressure and dew points.
For example, the startup can figure out the probability of certain roads being closed or the odds that there will be a power outage in a specific area of a city. These insights are especially important for transportation companies, as knowing the chances of road closures or flight delays allows companies to optimize routes and schedules. Reducing the inefficiencies that weather causes can allow businesses to mitigate risks and minimize costs.
WeatherOptics is not content with standing still. The team is constantly looking to improve their products and client experience. The startup is a few weeks away from unveiling a new weather impacts portal which will allow clients to see all potential impacts on a visual map. This means businesses can pinpoint how and where peak threats, such as road closures, will affect them, thus allowing them to make strategic decisions that save money.
WeatherOptics is using artificial intelligence to make waves in the weather industry. The startup is looking to expand their reach and disrupt the entire weather industry, likely expanding internationally over the next few months. Given the twenty-two-year-old founder’s genuine enthusiasm and out of the box ideas for weather, it is not outlandish to think they could be the future of weather analytics.
Written by Will Turchetta, Edited by Alexander Fleiss