Accuweather Hosts American Meteorological Society Conference
AccuWeather, a global force in the weather forecasting industry, recently hosted the summer conference of the American Meteorological Society in State College.
AccuWeather President Dr. Joel Myers delivered the keynote address focusing on the future of technology and weather forecasting.
The AMS exists to establish better relationships between government, commercial businesses and research institutions, with each of these entities having a role to play in delivering the best weather information to the nation.
According to Myers, the United States has the best weather forecasts in the world. The AMS helps to continue that excellence. The American system of data gathering in the weather industry is unique. The National Weather Service and the commercial sector are dealing with rapidly accelerating change.
“Parabolic change,” says Myers. “I have made calculations that show that 90 percent of all the weather data that has been created ever, was created in the last 700 days. Try to measure that against the 100,000 years of human history. It’s incredible.”
Much of the success of his business — and the weather industry in general — is attributed to the “upward mobility of that the free enterprise system encourages. Competition leads to innovation and better products for everyone.”
Myers plenary address was well-received by those in attendance.
“In four years we’ll have 100 times more weather data than we do now and a million times more by the year 2026,” he noted.
Most people are not prepared for, or even aware of, the changes they will confront.
Myers attributes the rapid changes to three major drivers — the Internet, the introduction of the personal computer, and the explosion in mobile communication.
“Changes will occur faster and faster and they will be dramatic,” Myers continued. For example, oranges are now being picked by robots. In 14 months you’ll see a machine that picks grapes. No one will drive a car by 2025. “
How will the speed of change impact the way we learn, live and work?
“Let’s look at the education system. It will have to change dramatically. Fifteen years ago a 55-year-old professor would impart information to an 18-year-old student. Today that is reversed for the first time ever. Now, an 18-year-old can handle information faster than a 55-year-old professor. And a six-year-old can handle it faster than an 18-year-old. In the near future we’ll have to focus on gaining wisdom and social skills not data.”
For AccuWeather this will mean dealing with extremes — 45-day forecasts and minute-by-minute forecasts.
“We are experts in world geography,” Myers said. “And we can provide pinpoint forecasts in greater resolution. “
Weather affects every aspect of human behavior, from travel to recreation, safety and health. “And this is true globally,” Myers stated. “We need, therefore, to provide our users with the best data available. That means the convergence of technology.”
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