Earth Networks Featured at Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting for Commitment to Provide Severe Weather Warnings in Haiti
Company Behind Popular WeatherBug Apps Pledges to Deploy $1.5 Million in Weather Monitoring and Early Warning Infrastructure
Germantown, MD and the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, New York, NY – September 24, 2012 – Earth Networks, the owner of WeatherBug® and operator of the largest weather, lightning and climate observation networks, announces it is making a formal Commitment to Action to deploy $1.5 million in state-of-the-art weather alerting infrastructure, including hardware and weather tracking technology, in Haiti in 2013. Commitments to Action are new, concrete plans with practical goals and measureable results made by members of the Clinton Global Initiative to address a global challenge. The announcement is being made today at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York.
Earth Networks’ Commitment to Action, titled “When Minutes Matter: Warning Haitians to Extreme Weather” addresses the profound need for weather monitoring and early warning in Haiti. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is highly vulnerable to the impacts of meteorological, hydrological and climate-related events. In 2008, Hurricanes Fay, Gustav and Ike hit the country, leaving nearly 1,000 dead and producing severe flooding. More recently, in August 2012, Tropical Storm Isaac caused more than 24 deaths and displaced thousands.
Earth Networks has designed a two-phase Commitment to Action plan to enhance and integrate regional weather information. Phase one will provide easy-to-use weather visualization and alerting tools for improved forecasting and early warning of severe weather. Phase two of the project will provide weather alerts to all Haitians as never before possible via mobile SMS, text and other media to broaden the reach of these critical, potentially life-saving warnings. This project will involve the establishment of a public-private partnership based upon models previously used globally with organizations such as the U.S. National Weather Service and INPE (National Institute for Space Research) in Brazil.
For nearly 20 years, Earth Networks - WeatherBug has established a proven track record for building vast global weather networks that take real-time weather observations from the sensor and deliver the information through computer and mobile applications and tools. Technology planned for deployment in Haiti as part of the planned Commitment of Action includes the following:
- Total Lightning Sensors: In-cloud lightning is often a precursor to severe weather, and Earth Networks Total Lightning Network™ is the largest and most advanced lightning network for detecting both cloud-to-ground and in-cloud lightning. Earth Networks was recently selected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) as the primary provider of total lightning data.
- Weather Sensors and Data: Earth Networks will deploy automated, professional-grade sensors delivering high-quality and real-time observation data for numerous variables including temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, humidity and more. To facilitate weather tracking and alerting, Earth Networks will include data from weather and lightning sensors from areas such as Florida and Puerto Rico.
- StreamerRTSM: A web-based multi-layer weather visualization and alerting application featuring advanced hurricane tracking tools developed by Earth Networks and used by government officials, including the National Weather Service in the U.S., to monitor storm cells, lightning strikes and changing conditions.
- PulseRadSM: Designed as a cost-effective radar alternative based on total lightning detection, PulseRad provides more information to help improve forecasting and lead times for dangerous storms with the potential for flooding or severe weather in places with significant convective weather and where actual radar coverage is incomplete or nonexistent, such as developing countries. This new technology in Haiti will enable the population to be better prepared for extreme weather, such as hurricanes and tropical storms, and to improve resilience against future natural disasters.
- Mobile Alerting: Lack of reliable telecommunications severely limits Haiti’s ability to disseminate early warnings and forecasts. While progress has been made, much remains to be done to create an infrastructure that provides in-country tools such as radar imagery and early warnings for severe weather. Earth Networks will enable early-warning alerts to millions of cell phone users in Haiti.
“In the U.S., we often take for granted our ability to stay informed and be alerted to approaching severe weather through multiple methods, from websites to mobile apps to broadcasts,” says Earth Networks President and CEO Bob Marshall. “When it comes to severe weather, we know that early warnings save lives, and how even a few extra minutes of lead time can make a significant difference in keeping people safe. Earth Networks is committed to deploying technology used here at home in the U.S. to enable more advanced alerting in Haiti, a nation that has been devastated by the extreme effects of severe weather.”
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.
CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative