- The Weather Company, owned by IBM, announced a new collaboration with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to help improve weather models and the supercomputers that they run on, according to an IBM announcement.
- The new partnership will combine meteorological science from The Weather Company, high performance computing expertise from IBM Research, OpenPOWER-based supercomputing systems and NCAR’s community weather model. Among other things, the new collaboration could "lead to more accurate long-range forecasts days, weeks and months in advance."
- The collaboration was announced at the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt this week. Part of the goal is to enhance weather predictions, particularly for businesses making "critical decisions" based on weather forecasts.
It’s all about disrupting the weather business we know today. You may soon get an alert about an incoming thunder storm long before it arrives. IBM is betting that combining supercomputers and weather data will help better predict weather events at local scales.
Today, that can only really be done regionally. The new model will also cover the entire globe, including areas of the world that have traditionally been underserved. So if a storm is brewing, with more advance warning, retailers could divert their supply chain accordingly, for example.
The partnership is the fruit of an acquisition IBM made in 2015. IBM bought The Weather Company for $2 billion, promising to extend its Watson Internet of Things unit and allow it to deliver advanced weather analytics across industries such as retail, airlines and transportation.