|Founder(s)||Joel N. Myers|
|Headquarters||State College, Pennsylvania, USA|
AccuWeather was founded in 1962 by Joel N. Myers, then a Penn State graduate student working on degrees in meteorology. His first customer was a gas company in Pennsylvania. While running his company, Myers also became a member of Penn State's meteorology faculty. The company adopted the name "AccuWeather" in 1971.
AccuWeather is headquartered in State College, Pennsylvania, with sales offices in Rockefeller Center in New York City and Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. In 2006, AccuWeather acquired WeatherData, Inc. of Wichita, Kansas. As WeatherData Services, Inc., an AccuWeather Company, the Wichita facility now houses AccuWeather’s specialized severe weather forecasters.
AccuWeather markets weather products and services, with 175,000 clients worldwide in media, business and government. It also runs the free, advertising-supported website AccuWeather.com, an online weather provider. The company claims that the AccuWeather brand and weather are presented to over 110 million people every day. AccuWeather employs 404 persons, of whom 113 are meteorologists.
AccuWeather's forecasts and services are based on weather information derived from numerous sources, including weather observations and data gathered by the National Weather Service and meteorological organizations outside the United States, and from information provided by non-meteorological organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the armed forces.
AccuWeather operates a 24-hour commercially sponsored weather channel known as The Local AccuWeather Channel, which is similar to the now defunct NBC Weather Plus. The Local AccuWeather Channel launched in 2006 and is currently on the air in 56 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Houston.
The regular weather provider for Bloomberg Television and numerous local TV stations, AccuWeather also provides guest commentary on major TV networks. AccuWeather, through the United Stations Radio Networks (previously through Westwood One until 2009), also provides weather for numerous radio stations and newspapers, including WINS (AM) in New York City, KFWB (AM) in Los Angeles and WBZ (AM) in Boston. During severe-weather episodes, AccuWeather experts have been called upon by television journalists such as Larry King, Geraldo Rivera, and Greta van Susteren for expert commentary. Many of its broadcast meteorologists, such as Elliot Abrams, are known nationally.
AccuWeather produces local weather videos each day for use on their own web site, on the Local AccuWeather Channel, on wired Internet and mobile application and web sites. The company is also active in the areas of convergence and digital signage. They have added a user-contributed video section to their photo gallery.
On August 3, 2011, Everbridge, a global leader in disaster incident notification systems, announced that it partnered with AccuWeather. The partnership of Everbridge and AccuWeather helps to ensure that people have accurate weather information before, during and after weather disasters or unforeseen seismic activity.
AccuWeather in the profession of meteorology
AccuWeather created a unified and proprietary apparent temperature system known as "The AccuWeather Exclusive RealFeel Temperature" and has used the quantity in its forecasts and observations. The formula for calculating this value incorporates the effects of temperature, wind, humidity, sunshine intensity, cloudiness, precipitation and elevation on the human body, similar to the rarely used (but public domain) Wet Bulb Globe Temperature. AccuWeather has been granted a United States patent on The RealFeel Temperature, but the formula is a trade secret and has not been reviewed by other meteorological authorities.
Between April 2012 and August 2013, Accuweather began increasing the range of their forecast from 15 days, to 25 days, then finally to 45 days. Such a time frame is far beyond the recognized limit of current forecasting technology, which limits such accuracy to about ten days. An informal assessment conducted by Jason Samenow at The Washington Post determined that AccuWeather's forecasts at the 25-day range were often wrong by as many as ten degrees, no better than random chance, and that the forecasts missed half of the fourteen days of rain that had occurred the month of the assessment. For Accuweather's part, the company does not claim absolute precision in such extremely long forecasts and advises users to only use the forecast to observe general trends in the forecast period. A later assessment from the Post determined that the 45 day forecasts were not even able to predict trends accurately and that, although the forecasts did not decrease in accuracy with time, the forecasts were so far off even in the short range to be useless.
National Weather Service
On April 14, 2005, U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) introduced the "National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005" in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would have forbade the National Weather Service from providing any such information directly to the public, and was generally interpreted as an attempt by AccuWeather to profit off of taxpayer-funded weather research by forcing its delivery through private channels. The bill, which did not garner a single co-sponsor, did not come up for a vote.
Santorum received campaign contributions from AccuWeather's president, Joel Myers, a frequent contributor to Republican candidates.
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