Earth Networks Announces Major Expansion of Canadian Weather Monitoring and Lightning Network
Operator of Largest Weather and Lightning Networks Cites New Data Quality Report as it Plans to Double Size of Existing Network Across Canada to Provide Increased Atmospheric Intelligence to Canadian Businesses and Consumers
Germantown, MD – November 16, 2011 – Earth NetworksSM, the operator of the largest weather, lightning and climate observation networks, the WeatherFarm Program and owner of WeatherBug®, plans to double the size of its weather monitoring network in Canada by deploying more than 1,000 additional weather stations within the next three years. Earth Networks operates the largest, most dynamic weather network in Canada with over 850 weather stations situated largely throughout the Prairie Provinces that report data every few seconds. Earth Networks plans to expand throughout Eastern and Atlantic Canada and the Pacific Coast through its continued support from the agricultural community, new industry partnerships, and growing interest from other sectors.
Earth Networks is also deploying additional lightning sensors in Canada. The sensors will be part of the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network, which is the largest worldwide network for the detection of in-cloud (IC) and cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning with over 500 sensors deployed globally. In-cloud lightning often serves as a precursor to heavy rain, large hail, dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, tornadoes and downburst winds. When lightning rates exceed a “severe” threshold and there is an increased threat of severe weather, Earth Networks issues alerts that can provide significant advanced notice of potentially dangerous conditions.
Earth Networks has been extremely active in Canada since 2007. Currently, Earth Networks provides weather information to agriculture, municipal, provincial and energy industry customers in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Weather data is also available to the general public through the WeatherBug site.
Earth Networks’ real-time weather data is available at no cost to farmers through the website WeatherFarm (www.weatherfarm.com), which has more than 12,000 users. The WeatherFarm website includes a variety of agronomic tools and other content, including at-a-glance weather conditions, detailed forecast information, and data such as temperature, wind speed and direction, dew point, precipitation and humidity levels from Earth Networks’ proprietary network. Temperature and precipitation maps depict weather systems moving across Canada. Agronomic tools include pest models and growing degree-day calculators to aid farmers’ day-to-day production decisions. Since its launch in 2009, the WeatherFarm website has quickly grown in popularity as a respected, accurate and helpful weather resource for agricultural professionals. WeatherFarm is marketed to the Canadian agricultural community through a partnership with the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) and other top-tier agricultural interests.
A recent statistical comparison among WeatherFarm, Environment Canada, and the Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiative (MAFRI) weather stations demonstrates the quality of the weather observations reported by Earth Networks weather station network. The study shows that data from Earth Networks’ sensors are highly correlated and complementary to Environment Canada stations and that the granularity (geographically and temporally) of the data has significant advantages for real-time management and decision making for flood prediction, monitoring and forecasting. The data has also been used to increase the timeliness and accuracy of Watch, Warnings and Special Weather Statements issued by Environment Canada. The full report can be viewed online.
“We are transitioning to the era where the integration of multiple weather networks is required to increase our knowledge,” says Paul Bullock, Professor of Agrometeorology, University of Manitoba, Department of Soil Science. “Properly deployed weather networks that provide quality data can be used collaboratively to great advantage. Additional resources and weather intelligence from Earth Networks are valuable to Canadian agricultural interests, and bring the potential to benefit other sectors as well.”
As the owner and operator of the largest weather network worldwide, Earth Networks is pleased to announce our plans to continue the WeatherFarm program and more than double the size of our network in Canada as part of our global expansion,” says Jim Anderson, vice president of international network and business development, Earth Networks. “Together, our networks for monitoring weather and lightning – as well as our new network for monitoring greenhouse gases – will create a “network of networks” providing extensive atmospheric intelligence to many impacted industries and the general public. This expansion will be beneficial to Canadian farmers, and will also be of interest to a variety of professionals within other industries – such as crop insurance, emergency management, electric utilities implementing smart grid solutions, provincial and municipal governments, aviation and transportation – that are in constant need of improved weather intelligence, forecasts and alerts.”
About Earth NetworksSM
As the provider of advanced weather data for nearly 20 years, Earth Networks (formerly AWS) operates the world’s largest weather observation and lightning detection networks and is building what will become the largest greenhouse gas monitoring network. Observations from Earth Networks inform and alert consumers, enterprises and governments around the world, providing them with advanced environmental intelligence for decision making and safety. The company’s popular WeatherBug website, desktop application and mobile apps provide millions of consumers with real-time, local weather information and dangerous severe weather alerts. Enterprise solutions from Earth Networks enable organizations, including energy and utilities, agriculture, schools, sports and recreation, emergency operations and government entities, to safeguard lives, prepare for weather and climate events and improve business operations. Earth Networks (www.earthnetworks.com) is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with offices in Mountain View, Calif.; New York, NY; Milan, Italy and a local presence in 50 countries worldwide.