AccuWeather -- A History of Innovation in Weather Warning, Forecasting and Data

​AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions is the product of a lifetime of innovation and leadership by two distinguished scientists and entrepreneurs: Dr. Joel N. Myers and Michael Smith C.C.M.

Growing up in Philadelphia, Joel was fascinated by the weather, and especially by snow storms. By age seven, he had decided that he would be a meteorologist, and at eleven, he knew that he was going to start his own weather service. As a youngster, he took advantage of every opportunity to learn all he could about the weather, becoming a cooperative observer for the U.S. Weather Bureau, keeping a weather diary, and forecasting every day. 

On November 15, 1962, Joel, then a Penn State graduate student, began forecasting the weather for a gas utility company in Pennsylvania. As Joel worked on his doctorate in meteorology from The Pennsylvania State University, AccuWeather’s client base grew to include other businesses and government agencies. In 1971, AccuWeather, Inc. began services to radio and television stations. 

During the early days of AccuWeather, Dr. Myers not only forecasted and managed the new company, but remained an active member of the Penn State faculty. During Dr. Myers’ teaching at Penn State and work at AccuWeather, he conducted numerous studies to help improve forecasting techniques and increase forecast accuracy. 

These techniques enabled AccuWeather to pioneer one forecasting advance after another, successively becoming the first to offer seven-day, ten-day, fifteen-day hourly, and 25-day hourly forecasts for 2.7 million locations worldwide – everywhere that people live, work and travel. AccuWeather also repeatedly demonstrated special skill in forecasting severe weather events, ranging from winter snow to hurricanes. Indeed, AccuWeather was the only forecasting service recognized by the U.S. Congress for giving timely and accurate warning of Hurricane Katrina.

From its very beginnings a leader in communicating the actionable impact of pending weather, AccuWeather was a pioneer in weather information delivery by web and mobile. With over 40 patents and more than a decade of experience in presenting weather on mobile devices, AccuWeather today is the leading provider of weather via the mobile web in both the U.S. and Europe. 

In 2006, AccuWeather acquired WeatherData, Inc. Founded on August 31, 1981, WeatherData reflected the vision of veteran television meteorologist Mike Smith. As a five-year old boy, Mike had experienced an extreme tornado that struck near his home. That storm left an indelible impression. Like Joel, he knew even before reaching his teens that he would eventually start a weather company that would help people threatened by extreme storms. 

WeatherData, Inc., the company Mike created, literally invented the field of site-specific storm warnings for businesses and other enterprises. In 1992, Mike received the American Meteorological Society’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Applied Meteorology, the highest in the field of the application of weather science, for his work in storm warning innovations. In 2000, WeatherData received the American Meteorological Society award for Outstanding Service to Meteorology by a Corporation. After successfully running and guiding WeatherData for a quarter-century, Mike sought a larger platform to take his vision to the next level. This led to the union with AccuWeather and the significant expansion of the WeatherData forecasting facility to become the AccuWeather Severe Weather Center in Wichita, KS.

The remarkable synergy, scientific expertise, and entrepreneurial vision of the combined teams have made them the world’s largest provider of site-specific warnings. Delivered via the unique SkyGuard® Warning Service, this capability has been complemented by new web and, most recently, mobile delivery systems for SkyGuard that leverage the AccuWeather digital expertise and patents. 

AccuWeather again received the American Meteorological Society award for Outstanding Service to Meteorology by a Corporation in 2010. The award cited AccuWeather’s “exceptional innovation and leadership in weather applications and communication.” 

In 2011, we introduced our new name, AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, to reflect our commitment to bring our customers not only the most accurate, timely and customized weather forecasts and warnings, but also new tools that assist you to easily determine what the weather means for your organization.