A Tech Startup Wants to Be Waze for Weather Forecasts

ClimaCell's service provides forecasts based on cell phone signals

An image from ClimaCell's Facebook page. (ClimaCell)
An image from ClimaCell's Facebook page. (ClimaCell)

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Founded in 2015, ClimaCell is a Boston-based startup which provides a service which millions of signals from cell phones and other wireless devices around the world use to predict the weather. 

According to the company, the predictions it provides are 60 percent more accurate than those provided by traditional forecasting methods. 

Founded in 2015 by a team of former military officers from the Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan, the company, which already counts jetBlue, Ford, the New England Patriots and ride-sharing service Via as customers, analyzes the quality of the signals provided by the wireless devices in its network and uses them to predict local weather conditions like precipitation and air quality. ClimaCell also uses images collected from street cameras in its predictions. 

As the company puts it, “Everything is a weather sensor.”

In addition to providing minute-by-minute forecasts — which ClimaCell claims outperform radar on speed and accuracy — the company also uses its data sources to create “pinpoint microweather” forecasts from 0-360 minutes out.

ClimaCell’s collection of weather data from the past also helps it predict future forecasts and is in the process of developing a new mathematical model which can turn old cell phone observations into data that can be used in a simulation.

“At ClimaCell we’re on a mission to map all of the weather data in the world,” according to the company. “We’re building the ultimate weather engine by pioneering the use of new weather sensing technologies and combining them with the best existing sources of data. Our weather engine is fast becoming the default microweather platform of the emerging technology economy.”

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