Katie Rosman int the Wall Street Journal: “The Weather Channel knows the chance for rain in St. Louis on Friday, what the heat index could reach in Santa Fe on Saturday and how humid Baltimore may get on Sunday.
It also knows when you’re most likely to buy bug spray.
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.
The company supplies information for many major smartphone weather apps and has invested in data-crunching algorithms. It uses this analysis to appeal to advertisers who want to fine-tune their pitches to consumers….
Weather Co. researchers are now diving into weather-sentiment analysis—how local weather makes people feel, and then act—in different regions of the country. To cull this data, Mr. Walsh’s weather-analytics team directly polls visitors to the Weather.com website, asking them about their moods and purchases on specifics days.
In a series of polls conducted between June 3 and Nov. 4 last year, residents of the Northeast region responded to the question, “Yesterday, what was your mood for most of the day?”