The Weather Channel apparently knows about more than the weather. Over the years it’s invested in a lot of data and computer algorithms. Now, it’s telling advertisers that it can combine weather forecasts with other data it has to fairly accurately forecasts what people will buy and when. Interestingly, the channel claims that the connection between purchases and weather differs around the nation. For example, it says that in Chicago in the summer, beer sales increase after three days of below-average temperatures. But in New York City they increase when temperatures are above average. The original piece was in The Wall Street Journal, but this link with some details is available to all.
The enterprise is transforming from a cable network viewers flip to during hurricane season into an operation that forecasts consumer behavior by analyzing when, where and how often people check the weather. Last fall the Weather Channel Cos. renamed itself the Weather Co. to reflect the growth of its digital-data business.
The Atlanta-based company has amassed more than 75 years’ worth of information: temperatures, dew points, cloud-cover percentages and much more, across North America and elsewhere.