As the severity, intensity and frequency of climate-related disasters increase, preparedness becomes more crucial than ever to protect lives, as well as local infrastructure, businesses and economies. A high-tech forecasting company is now stepping up, offering hyper-detailed weather forecasts and pre-storm strategy plans, up to a block away.
Boston-based Tomorrow.io already has customers like Delta, Ford, JetBlue, Meta, Raytheon, Uber, United Airlines and the US Air Force. Precipitation, snowfall, fire hazard and air quality forecasting are part of the company’s capabilities.
When the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through New Jersey nearly a year ago, the state was sadly unprepared. It was no longer a hurricane, so preparation was minimal, but the deluge was incredible.
“It rained four inches in one hour during Ida, and we had a total of six and a half inches of rain, in one storm, which is truly unprecedented,” said Caleb Stratton, resilience manager for the town of Hoboken, New Jersey.
Hoboken, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, is only two square miles but home to more than 62,000 people. It is increasingly prone to flooding, so the city had builds protection in the form of parks that act as massive drains.
One of the parks sits atop a massive cistern that can hold 200,000 gallons of water and is managed remotely so water can be held or released as needed.
But to optimize the system, city officials need to know what’s coming. So right after Ida, they started working with Tomorrow.io.
“They’re able to provide information on when a storm event is going to happen — how intense, for how long — and they can really do block-by-block predictions,” Stratton said.
The company works with its customers long before they start making forecasts to show them precisely how future weather conditions will affect everything from operations to supply chains to personnel.
“We’ll take an airline’s operating protocol, specifically upload it to our system, and then we’ll have our own proprietary information dashboard that tells them exactly when it’s going to happen,” the marketing manager said. , Dan Slagen. “So we will tell an airline during the week, these flights are going to be weather risky, and if you need to de-ice your planes, now is the time to do it, to avoid delays or any impact on the security.”
Then the company sends its own satellites into space, which will send data back much more frequently than government weather satellites.