Precipitation data compiled by Colorado State University’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) is being used commercially for the first time in a software product developed by aWhere Inc., a Wheat Ridge, Colorado-based company.
The aWhere Location Intelligence Platform offers interactive access to historical, observed and forecasted local weather data, which can be used to make decisions about global food security, vector-borne disease control, climate-smart agriculture, and other challenges in developing countries.
The CIRA-developed precipitation product, based on a blended dataset of microwave observations from several polar-orbiting satellites, was licensed through CSU Ventures, the technology commercialization agent for the University.
The new product creates a truly global view of precipitation, and represents a significant part of aWhere’s software, which currently presents weather variables such as temperature, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed, and growing-degree days.
A free version of the platform — available in eastern, western, and southern Africa; south Asia; Central America; and Mexico — allows users to interact with gridded data through maps, graphs, and table tools, all accessed via the aWhere website.
“This represents a great opportunity to address many of the enormous challenges facing real people working in the field of global development,” said Andrew Jones, a senior research scientist at CIRA. “Being able to make these data readily available will help solve some of the world’s most pressing development problems.”
John Corbett, aWhere’s CEO, said his company is thrilled to be providing access to this unique global weather resource through the aWhere platform. “There is a tremendous and growing need for quality, localized precipitation data,” he said. “This signals a significant advancement for the global development community.”
CIRA was established as an interdisciplinary partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Colorado State University in 1980. The cooperative institute is also a research department within CSU’s College of Engineering, in partnership with the Department of Atmospheric Science.