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|Founder(s)||Joel N. Myers|
|Headquarters||State College, Pennsylvania, USA|
AccuWeather was founded in 1962 by Joel N. Myers, then a Penn State graduate student working on degrees in meteorology. His first customer was a gas company in Pennsylvania. While running the company, Myers also became a member of Penn State's meteorology faculty. The company adopted the name "AccuWeather" in 1971.
AccuWeather is headquartered in State College, Pennsylvania, with sales offices in Rockefeller Center in New York City and Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. In 2006, AccuWeather acquired WeatherData, Inc. of Wichita, Kansas. As WeatherData Services, Inc., an AccuWeather Company, the Wichita facility now houses AccuWeather’s specialized severe weather forecasters.
AccuWeather markets weather products and services, with 175,000 clients worldwide in media, business and government. It also runs the free, advertising-supported website AccuWeather.com, an online weather provider. The company claims that the AccuWeather brand and weather are presented to over 110 million people every day. AccuWeather employs 404 persons, of whom 113 are meteorologists.
AccuWeather's forecasts and services are based on weather information derived from numerous sources, including weather observations and data gathered by the National Weather Service and meteorological organizations outside the United States, and from information provided by non-meteorological organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the armed forces.
AccuWeather operates a 24-hour commercially sponsored weather channel known as The Local AccuWeather Channel, which is similar to the now defunct NBC Weather Plus. The Local AccuWeather Channel launched in 2006 and is currently on the air in 56 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Houston.
The regular weather provider for Bloomberg Television and numerous local TV stations, AccuWeather also provides guest commentary on major TV networks. AccuWeather, through the United Stations Radio Networks (previously through Westwood One until 2009), also provides weather for numerous radio stations and newspapers, including WINS (AM) in New York City, KFWB (AM) in Los Angeles and WBZ (AM) in Boston. During severe-weather episodes, AccuWeather experts have been called upon by television journalists such as Larry King, Geraldo Rivera, and Greta van Susteren for expert commentary. Many of its broadcast meteorologists, such as Elliot Abrams, are known nationally.
AccuWeather produces local weather videos each day for use on their own web site, on the Local AccuWeather Channel, and on wired Internet and mobile web sites. The company is also active in the areas of convergence and digital signage. They have added a user-contributed video section to their photo gallery.
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AccuWeather created a unified value known as "The AccuWeather Exclusive RealFeel Temperature." The formula for calculating this value incorporates the effects of temperature, wind, humidity, sunshine intensity, cloudiness, precipitation and elevation on the human body. AccuWeather has been granted a United States patent on The RealFeel Temperature, but the formula has not been reviewed by other meteorological authorities.
AccuWeather employees who have been recognized for their services to the profession of meteorology include:
In April 2012, AccuWeather introduced a day-by-day forecast product that forecasts out as far as 30 days in advance. (Prior to this, AccuWeather's maximum forecast range was 25 days, extended from 15 days a year previously). Such a time frame is generally far beyond the recognized limit of current forecasting technology, which limits such accuracy to about ten days.
The National Weather Service (NWS) states as its mission the following: "The National Weather Service provides weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas, for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy. NWS data and products form a national information database and infrastructure which can be used by other governmental agencies, the private sector, the public, and the global community."
AccuWeather and other members of the Commercial Weather Services Association have from time to time criticized the NWS for what they have claimed is a lack of focus on this mission, often exemplified by NWS activities that are claimed to compete with the private weather companies.
On April 14, 2005 U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) introduced the "National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005" in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would have placed into federal law a definition of the duties of the NWS similar to its stated mission and would have prohibited the NWS from providing products or services for free that the private sector is willing and able to provide (S. 786). The bill, which did not garner a single co-sponsor, did not come up for a vote.
AccuWeather received criticism for its support of the legislation. Santorum received campaign contributions from AccuWeather's president, Joel Myers, a frequent contributor to Republican candidates.
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