18 Sep Hurricane Ups Weather Forecasting Attention For Madison Firm
Hurricane Increases Attention of Weather Forecasting
MADISON, WI—As Americans prepare for Hurricane Isabel to hit the East Coast, the accuracy of weather forecasting is on many people minds as they flee their homes and businesses. People are watching TV, listening to radio and accessing the Internet to find out the latest path of the storm. A new product from Weather Connections, a Wisconsin-based provider of weather forecasting technology and Internet software applications, can help these Americans by providing geographically specific and precise weather information to their computer desktops with the company’s latest product, Weather Depot.
The Weather Depot software application enables users to access current weather conditions, radar imagery, specific hour-by-hour forecasts for their zip code, as well as view numerous “TV type” weather maps – all in an easy-to-use, self-contained software application.
The company founded by University of Wisconsin graduates utilizes the latest advancements weather forecasting technology to deliver personalized, precision forecasts. Their technology currently in use at over 250 TV stations across the country and on the Internet provides answers to the most challenging weather forecast questions such as timing, type, and amounts of precipitation and detailed extended range forecasts. Weather Connections also operates www.travelforecast.com, a leading travel weather portal with over 100,000 unique monthly users
“We recognize that there are many sources of weather information available online, but none of them offer a user experience that combines the best of television quality weather presentation with the flexibility and interactivity of the Internet,” said Weather Depot software developer and company co-founder Brett Wilt.
Wilt and his co-founder Grant Brohm founded the company is March 2000, with an initial mission to develop Internet software applications utilizing the most accurate, high-resolution weather forecast data available. The founder’s goal is to bring forecast weather dissemination up to speed with the latest advances in high-resolution numerical weather forecast modeling. Both founders have advanced degrees in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Wilt is known as just one of a few people with intimate working knowledge of the UW-Non Hydrostatic Modeling System (UW-NMS) developed by Dr. Greg Tripoli at UW-Madison. Wilt is familiar with many programming languages and has excellent weather forecasting skills – winning the National Collegiate Weather Forecasting competition in 1993.
Prior to starting Weather Connections, Brohm a meteorologist, worked for both television and radio stations as held positions at Weather Central, Inc. and MyWeather LLC also located in Madison.
The company recently had their product featured as the “Download of the Day” on TechTV during which reviewer, Nancy Guilfoyle called the product, “a weather fanatic’s fantasy come true.”
In addition to internet distribution for its software, the company is also targeting licensing relationship with major utilities and travel organizations where weather forecasting is critical to energy usage and tourism.
The basic version of Weather Depot can be downloaded free of charge at www.weatherdepot.com; a premium version (retail price, $29.95 USD) is also available. The company is also offering a 14-day free trial of its premium product. The current U.S. version runs on PC’s with Windows 98, XP and ME. Future releases in development include industry-specific versions and a version for other countries, including Canada.