Weather technology company ClimaCell, which is taking a number of innovative approaches for gathering weather data and building forecasting models, today announced that it is partnering with Google Cloud to launch a new high-resolution forecasting model. The first model will focus on India, with other geographies following soon. ClimaCell and Google will make the forecast available for free through the Google Cloud Public Datasets program.
The model will provide forecasts for the next 48 hours and have a resolution of 2km and 15-minute timesteps. It will also serve as the foundation for other weather products from ClimaCell for predicting floods, air quality and more.
"For the first time in history, a private company is offering a full-blown operational numerical weather prediction model for an entire country, working continuously and providing high-resolution forecasts for up to 48 hours ahead," said ClimaCell CEO and co-founder Shimon Elkabetz. "Not only is it an historical milestone, we are providing it completely free of charge. We invite others to join us in making weather data free and accessible for everyone."
The company argues that it takes a local model like this to address the nuances of local climates and geographies. The company plans to customize the model for other regions over time.
Because the models are available as public data sets, anybody will be able to make use of them. What we don't know yet, of course, is how good these forecasts are, but ClimaCell has developed a pretty good reputation over the last year or so and a number of large companies, including airlines like Delta, JetBlue and United are customers. The company also offers a freemium mobile app for consumers.