Weatherzone

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Weatherzone, known before 9 August 2010 as The Weather Company, is the main provider of value added meteorological services in Australia.[citation needed] Their main business lines are services to television stations, major websites and mobile phone companies. They also provide services to energy, insurance and large retail corporations. They specialize in aggregating content from a large range of private and government funded organisations (e.g. Bureau of Meteorology, Environmental Protection Authority, World Meteorological Organisation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation etc.). They also run their own WRF computer model which is used to produce content for the subscription product, Weatherzone Pro (formerly Weatherzone Silver), and feeds into their Opticast forecasting model. Weatherzone employs a team of meteorologists to offer a meteorological alternative to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

Weatherzone was founded in 1998 by former Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist, Mark Hardy, providing graphics, scripts and weather briefings for television weather presentations.[1] It provides these weather services, for among others, Network Ten (Weatherzone's first client), NBN, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the world weather reports for Bloomberg Television. It also provides detailed agricultural forecasts to country areas of Australia, through the ABC, Prime Television and GWN.

Weatherzone also provides solutions for displaying weather on websites. Some large sites that use this include Elders, an Australian agricultural site, Ski.com.au, a site about snow sports in Australia, News Ltd and Fairfax.[1] Weatherzone also hosts its own weather site, also called Weatherzone, which combines their own content with Bureau of Meteorology information and that from several other providers into a more user friendly and customizable interface. Weatherzone has been recently launched as a television channel on pay TV provider SelecTV and is available as a mobile online service as well. Weatherzone sources surf data from Swellnet, Australia's most popular source of online surf reports, surf forecasts and live surfcam vision.

In 2008 in response to an increasing demand from industry for more accurate and more frequently updating weather forecasts, weatherzone developed the Opticast forecast system. This system takes information from over a dozen computer models including variants of the in-house operated WRF model. The Opticast algorithms are run every hour ensuring the forecasts are continually staying abreast of rapid and previously unforeseen meteorological changes. The accuracy of Opticast allowed weatherzone to make a successful foray into the lucrative energy and mining weather forecasting markets. Over the subsequent 2 years many of Australia's major electricity companies commenced using weatherzone's Opticast derived forecasting products including AGL, Snowy Hydro, Delta Energy, Energex and Tru Energy.

On 25 June 2008 Fairfax Digital acquired a 75% share in Weatherzone (then known as The Weather Company) with 25% still owned by the founder, Mark Hardy who retained the Managing Director role.[1]

On 9 August 2010 The organisation changed its name from The Weather Company to Weatherzone.[citation needed] On 6 October 2010, it was announced that James Caust had moved into the Managing Director role.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Fairfax Digital acquires The Weather Company". Australian-Media.com.au. 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  2. ^ "Fairfax Digital Names Head of Strategic Alliances / Weatherzone appoints new Managing Director". Fairfax Digital. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 

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