IBM’s Weather Company Determined to be Most Accurate Globally as per Forecast.
- The Weather Company was over 3 times more likely to be the most accurate forecaster than other weather providers studied.
- AI and advanced technology combined with human expertise help enable more informed weather decisions
NEW YORK and ATLANTA, May 15, 2023 – IBM (NYSE: IBM) and its subsidiary The Weather Company, which includes The Weather Channel digital properties, were determined to be “the overall most accurate provider globally” by ForecastWatch, a premier organization for evaluating the accuracy of weather forecasts. In fact, The Weather Company has been the world’s most accurate forecaster overall every year since the study began in 2017.
Accuracy has become increasingly paramount as people and businesses continue to monitor weather forecasts to help them make decisions, especially amid the growing volatility of weather and a changing climate. In fact, a recent study validated that 91% of respondents cited accuracy among the top five leading criteria for why they select a weather provider.
In its latest comprehensive report of forecast accuracy released today, Global and Regional Weather Forecast Accuracy Overview, 2017-2022, commissioned by IBM, ForecastWatch named IBM’s The Weather Company as the weather forecast provider whose forecasts were more likely to be the most accurate across all geographic regions studied and time periods covered. Further, the report data showed that the accuracy gap between The Weather Company (noted as The Weather Channel in the report) and the next best overall provider has grown larger since the study began, from 2 times in 2017 to over 3 times more likely in 2022 to be the most accurate forecaster, even with the addition of more weather providers studied.
“We’re seeing more companies jump into the business of weather forecasting as weather becomes more erratic and impactful. Despite increased competition, this report validates our continued innovation and leadership in weather accuracy,” said Sheri Bachstein, CEO of The Weather Company, an IBM Business. “Our unique mix of ‘human and machine’ – advanced AI and technology plus human expertise – has helped us vastly outpace the field as we help people and customers make informed decisions based on insights from a recognized, trusted source.”
The report is a comprehensive weather forecast accuracy study spanning six years, 2,182 global locations across eight regions of the world, and 84 different accuracy metrics covering precipitation, temperature, cloud cover, wind, and other forecast variables. ForecastWatch analyzed about 250 million forecasts from 23 different weather providers. Each provider was noted each time it finished in first place for each metric, and according to the report, The Weather Channel recorded the most first-place finishes globally for every year studied and all forecast days of all the providers compared.
Major highlights and findings of the report include:
- The Weather Company is the world’s most accurate weather forecaster overall of the providers studied.
- The Weather Company was over 3 times more likely to be the most accurate forecaster than any other provider studied.
- The accuracy gap between The Weather Company and the next best overall provider has grown larger since the study began, from 2 times more likely in 2017 to over 3 times more likely in 2022 to be the most accurate forecaster than any other weather provider studied.
- The Weather Company was the most accurate forecast provider most often in each region compared, including the U.S., Canada, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific.
- The report states: “The Weather Channel had more first-place finishes in the wind metric alone than any provider had globally for all metrics combined.”
Industry-Leading Accuracy Built on Science, AI, and Tech
The report is evidence of how IBM is helping advance the science of weather forecasting through continued innovations, including in AI and cloud computing. Artificial intelligence is a critical tool for meteorologists to make sense of billions of unstructured weather data points produced by satellites, ground sensors, radars, and more. With advanced machine learning algorithms and computing power from IBM, meteorologists at The Weather Company can use this data to simulate atmospheric conditions and better forecast the weather.
Continued investment and innovation at IBM have allowed its team of meteorologists and experts to develop technologies that have helped keep The Weather Company ahead in overall accuracy, such as:
- A forecasting engine that uses AI to integrate input from nearly 100 forecast models around the world, weighing factors from each model based on geography, time, weather type, and recent forecast accuracy, on demand.
- A significant breakthrough in global weather forecasting with its proprietary IBM GRAF (Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting) system, the first hourly-updating global weather model able to predict something as small as a thunderstorm.
- A unique collaboration of human and machine–proprietary technology called “human over the loop” forecasting brings AI together with an expert team of nearly 100 meteorologists. The process helps customers get an on-demand forecast based on fresh information and human expertise.
- Global radar leadership thanks to one of the world’s largest assimilations of weather radar data and technologies such as AI to use that data effectively.
- On-demand assessment of both current and forecast weather conditions from proprietary technology at The Weather Company.
Forecast Accuracy Helps Inform Businesses, People, and Marketers
The accuracy of forecasts within IBM’s weather products is critical not only for keeping consumers informed but also for delivering AI-based insights and decision capabilities across industries. Leveraging weather signals and insights help businesses, marketers, and customers prepare for and respond to weather.
The Weather Company forecasts are distributed via the IBM Cloud across The Weather Channel app and weather.com, Weather Underground app, and wunderground.com, as well as weather products for IBM enterprise clients.
The Weather Company is the world’s leading weather provider5 and powers the weather forecasts on over 2 billion devices. The Weather Channel is the world’s most downloaded weather app and one of America’s most trusted brands.