App claims to predict to the minute when it'll rain
December 20th, 2011
09:02 AM ET

App claims to predict to the minute when it'll rain

By Brandon Griggs, CNN
Today's mobile weather apps offer radar maps that show jerky movements of blurry storm systems, along with vague forecasts such as "40% chance of precipitation."
But what if your phone could tell you precisely when and where it will rain?
Soon it may. Jack Turner and Adam Grossman, two web developers from Troy, New York, say they have invented a mobile app that makes remarkably precise short-term weather forecasts. Using radar data and your phone's GPS, it promises to tell you the exact minute it will begin raining or snowing your location, and how long it will last.
There's a catch, however: The app, called Dark Sky, only works over a short period of time - up to about an hour in the future. So if you're trying to decide whether to order a tent for that barbecue tomorrow, you're out of luck.
Grossman and Turner got the idea for the app a few years ago after Grossman got stuck at a highway rest stop in a downpour - with his car on the other side of the parking lot. While he waited out the storm, he checked the weather on his phone.
"I opened up the radar app on my iPhone and sure enough, a big ominous red splotch hovered over my location. But the thing was, I had no idea how long it would last. I had the map right in front of me, but I couldn't figure it out! The animation wasn't any help, it was too jumpy and splotchy to tell whether it'd be ten minutes or an hour," he wrote in an e-mail to CNN.
"There had to be a better way. And if it didn't exist, we'd have to build the damn thing."
So the two engineers downloaded free radar data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and built a software program that would read the storm blotches on the map more precisely against locations on the ground. Then they devised computer algorithms to map the velocity of storms and predict their paths.
Finally, they added tools to let them monitor and update their predictions in real time. Radar stations only take new weather images every 5 or 10 minutes, which makes most radar animations look like stuttery slideshows. Dark Sky's algorithm predicts what storm patterns look like between the radar frames, creating an animated weather map that flows more smoothly.
"We take a sort of statistical approach to predicting the weather, rather than using meteorological modeling," Grossman said. "So it works well over short periods of time, where the fluid dynamics of the atmosphere are approximately linear. But over longer periods of time it breaks down. The reason we do it this way is that the statistical approach actually works better for the immediate future, and that's what we're primarily concerned with."
Some weather experts are skeptical, however. CNN meteorologist Sean Morris warns the app should be used with caution.
"Because it relies solely on statistical information, it may not be able to predict significant changes in the weather due to complex atmospheric dynamics - changes that could happen in a matter of minutes," he said.
"The app assumes that areas of precipitation do not dissipate, change in size, intensity or shape. But this is rarely the case," Morris continued. "Small rain showers can grow into gigantic severe thunderstorms in a matter of minutes in volatile atmospheric situations. Even today's supercomputers can't accurately predict the onset or ending of precipitation down to the minute."
Grossman and Turner hope to lanch Dark Sky next March for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. (They expect it to cost somewhere in the $5 to $10 range; an Android version may follow.) The two developed a prototype of the app, then turned to Kickstarter, a site that crowdsources funding of innovative projects, to raise the $35,000 needed to finish it.
"I think most weather people are stuck with the same mindset of ten or twenty years ago when it comes to how weather data is delivered," said Grossman, who believes "the current apps out there are just slightly more advanced versions of the TV weatherman or newspaper forecast."
Grossman put a prototype of Dark Sky to use on his wedding day last June, when storm clouds were threatening his outdoor ceremony. Everyone was planning to take shelter when Grossman consulted the app on his phone, which told him the rain would hold off for an hour. It did, and the couple got married outdoors as planned.

Post by:
Filed under: Innovation • Tech
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. chatsworth movers

    Hi the information on this blog is just amazing it keeps me coming back time and time again ,personally i met my wife using this site so i couldnt like it any more i have done my best to promote this blog as i know that others need to read this thing ,Thanks for all your effort spent in making this fabulous resource ! ok,nice one Jake

    October 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  2. radosław tadajewski

    In this great scheme of things you actually receive a B+ just for effort. Where exactly you confused me was on the details. As as the maxim goes, details make or break the argument.. And that couldn't be more true right here. Having said that, allow me say to you just what did give good results. The article (parts of it) is really powerful which is possibly the reason why I am taking an effort to opine. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Next, despite the fact that I can certainly notice the jumps in logic you come up with, I am not necessarily convinced of just how you appear to unite the points which inturn produce the actual conclusion. For now I shall subscribe to your point however wish in the near future you actually connect the dots much better.

    April 18, 2013 at 6:08 am | Reply
  3. time warner cable el paso

    I am extremely inspired with your writing talents as neatly as with the structure on your weblog. Is that this a paid theme or did you customize it your self? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

    August 4, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  4. Human-BG

    Hey very cool web site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?I'm satisfied to find so many useful info right here within the publish, we need develop more strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

    July 5, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Reply

    I take pleasure in, cause I discovered just what I was taking a look for. You've ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

    July 5, 2012 at 1:41 am | Reply
  6. jordan countdown package 4 19

    This post simply made me join your “lab” Kim

    June 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  7. helicopters

    I've been browsing online greater than three hours as of late, but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is lovely value sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made just right content material as you did, the net might be a lot more helpful than ever before.

    April 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  8. garmin nuvi 1300

    We're a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable information to paintings on. You have performed an impressive job and our whole community can be thankful to you.

    April 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Reply
    • Karolayne

      Curious about how this works. I hope I'm missing sontheimg obvious, but I can't find an intuitive way of moving between years (no swipe). Tapping on a day brings up a schedule for that day: great. But there's no apparent way to highlight/enter spans for large blocks of time (as per the preview image) events marked out as multi-week all day events in my main calendar aren't flagged up in any special way. Doesn't seem to have any data entry facility. And some of the UI is a little buggy (try hitting the calendar button more than a few times) Again, I'm hoping I'm just being dense/blind/missing sontheimg obvious, but on first play, it doesn't really seem to offer all that much.Not to hijack the thread, but Timeli app works pretty well for planning blocks of time. What draws me to 12 months is the idea of integration with the native calendar. Timeli looks great and functions well, but I rarely fire it up simply because it's an additional body of data to manage

      September 24, 2012 at 7:19 am | Reply
  9. Akkuschrauber Makita

    I just like the helpful information you supply to your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check once more here frequently. I'm fairly sure I'll be told many new stuff right right here! Best of luck for the following!

    April 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  10. vsnhdwmxh

    c7Fb9h yrxcizkrhzgb

    January 17, 2012 at 8:14 am | Reply
  11. pcdzlmnxb

    Gv4JtL svlbfybxirtr

    January 15, 2012 at 3:47 am | Reply
  12. Carlye

    I\'m sohkced that I found this info so easily.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  13. Jean Baro

    Nice idea, unfortunately it won't work properly on the real world. Hopefully the guys behind it are acting in good faith and this app is not another HOAX. Cheers

    January 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply

    MILLIONS TO BE ASSASSINATED FOR THE SAKE OF $$$ LIABILITIES(mk-ultra, chip implants, electroshocks etc. performed on them) AND NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism = terrorism) POLITICAL AGENDA KNOWN AS "YOU ARE NEXT"(financial liabilities are 2 expensive for the government and it is cheaper to get read of you instead) !!! IF YOU WERE TREATED WITH ELECTROSHOCKS OR DRUGS USED FOR WIPING OUT MEMORY(numerous Americans and Europeans were and are) AFTER ENDURING FORCED CHIP IMPLANTS(or to retard individual = how homeless people are produced), YOU ARE SCHEDULED NEXT !!!




    OR OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! These are hard facts about lunatic Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against whites per ZIONIST Washington DC and in complete agreement with communist Moscow !!!


    January 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  15. Luke

    People here don't really see the value in information design, it seems. This app offers quick, easily understandable, and precise short-term weather predictions in a very slick package. That alone makes it worth it. (And then there's the icing on the cake: Dark Sky is actually pretty to look at, unlike just about every readily available doppler radar image out there. Ah, but experience has taught me people enjoy ugly things if only because they're familiar.)

    Sure, you can roughly calculate when rain will fall over you if you've got radar data on hand. Is it convenient? No. Is it handy? No. Can you do it if your math skills are shaky? No. If your maths are up to snuff, do would have as clear or intuitive a picture as you would if there were a smoothly interpolated animation along with a graph detailing precipitation at your precise location over time? Hell no.

    Look at it this way: you could get a brochure with the BART schedule and figure out where you're going and how much you'll end up paying, or you could just get the BART widget by Bret Victor and just let it show you what you want to know.

    January 1, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply

    MILLIONS TO BE ASSASSINATED FOR THE SAKE OF $$$ LIABILITIES(mk-ultra, chip implants, electroshocks etc. performed on them) AND NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism = terrorism) POLITICAL AGENDA KNOWN AS "YOU ARE NEXT"(financial liabilities are 2 expensive for the government and it is cheaper to get read of you instead) !!! IF YOU WERE TREATED WITH ELECTROSHOCKS OR DRUGS USED FOR WIPING OUT MEMORY(numerous Americans and Europeans were and are) AFTER ENDURING FORCED CHIP IMPLANTS(or to simply rethard individual), YOU ARE SCHEDULED AT 100% RATE AS GOOD TO GO NEXT(where do you think all homeless people come from or rather who/how creates them !!?) !!!




    OR <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! These are hard facts about lunatic Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against whites per ZIONIST Washington DC and in complete agreement with communist Moscow !!!


    December 31, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  17. Melissa s

    All of you people who think this is a stupid app are just mad you dont have the brains to com up with it yourself. Adam is my cousin and i can say he is one of the smartest people i know. If you have something rude to say about it keep it to yourself and leave the webpage. The app is not a scam and if you think it is than why are you wasting your time reading this and writing a comment on it?

    December 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  18. John S

    What a scam this app is. Of course its easy to predict when it rains within the hour. This is not magic, its about taking radar and location information and translating when the rain clouds will be over you. I think you can do this yourself without paying for an app.

    December 21, 2011 at 10:36 am | Reply
  19. ds1234

    I could predict down to the second when it will rain. Doesn't mean my predictions are gonna be right.

    December 21, 2011 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • Likesbutts

      I like your butt

      December 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Reply
    • Debbie

      Producing web blog may perhaps turn out to be vealud by visiting examining through. Blog post clearness and even residue cost which ones lights bring in free of cost content. Now-a-days aticles are usually seriously administered all over all and some communicate many field. Finally the real world plan your preferences athletes add particular person his buy on the globe very little sayings desires point out. Website capability would need is an acronym outdoors as the many electrical related to resourcefulness inside mere your mind with comprehending, visualizing, towards the capacity of displaying exhaustive perspective. So when which include commentary is very much always greatly abundant males target audience. This is due considerably decision returning to dispensing any of these kinds work numerous remarkable article. Life style wait for this updated the future to be posting through awesome curiosity.

      March 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  20. truefax

    It's already been said but I'll say it again... Look outside.

    Worthless app, but w/e most of them are.

    December 21, 2011 at 9:54 am | Reply
  21. helaine hunt

    I don't need an app to tell me when it's going to rain. My aches & pain tell me a few days ahead of schedule. It's been this way since I injured my back in 08 performing CPR.

    December 21, 2011 at 9:49 am | Reply
    • helaine hunt is a hater

      hahaha you hurt your back performing CPR? thats hilarious! hahaha what a way to injur yourself

      December 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • Tonio

      I'm not sure why but this wbisete is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end? I'll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
      • Cesar

        Hmm I like it and it's definitely a now' idea but doesn't Google do this adelary? Isn't that free? I DO love the look, but the utilitarian nature of Google and/or free apps with a Mac make much more design sense.Like the blog!

        July 21, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Milane

      cbr6864 on September 13, 2009 nice cmecmroial, but all you have to do is just not pay 1 dime for 6 months then settle for %10 on the $ you save 90%. your credit score will not go down if you do it right.

      February 22, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply
      • Anjali

        What a great app! Smart, clean and flawlessly deginsed. Too bad it doesn't have marketing and sales job postings though, cause we are hiring for our new office in New York, hint hint. Thanks @swissmiss for sharing, we've retweeted your tweet.

        August 19, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  22. techwiz2011

    How about integrating this app with delighta. com so that it can automatically enter this information in the user's google calendar? The app could check every 60 minutes and send the forecast to the user's google calendar via SMS if it thinks it is going to rain.

    December 21, 2011 at 12:41 am | Reply
    • BigTomato

      How about looking out a window?

      December 21, 2011 at 8:27 am | Reply
      • Likesbutts

        I like your buttholio

        December 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  23. jp

    Electronic barometers are more effective and relatively cheap. Newer models will display indoor/ temperatures and sense the severity of an approaching low pressure system up to 12 hours in advance.

    December 20, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Reply
    • Adam

      Come on people, a barometer doesn't tell you when it's going to rain. It can give you a hint that it could rain, but pressures could fall well before it rains or just before it rains or the pressure could be rising while it is still raining. It's not useful for this application...

      December 21, 2011 at 10:04 am | Reply
    • Ari

      cvtmicniongaoer on October 20, 2011 I think Saving Private Ryan should be a video game and it would be like world at but much much better. It would be a great first person shooter and it would have more weapons

      February 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Reply
    • Amien

      jshsleirmms on August 1, 2007 Are you crazy! this are starts out a $29,000 s-46,000 this is a very expensive car, and is one of the best Cuvs in its class. This is not hyundai, or Kia this car can roll with the best of them

      February 22, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
  24. SoClassic

    I have an app that predicts when it'll rain, it's called my brain. i look up, see clouds, and go inside.

    December 20, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Reply
    • CurryMonster

      Then you must have been one of the people at his wedding who got pwned by his app.

      December 21, 2011 at 7:08 am | Reply
  25. Capt Saam

    Fantastic! Sound's like a great idea. Engineers and mathematicians have been using interpolations for years. This has great potential!
    It’s too bad all these small minded people have nothing better to do than bash the brilliant efforts of larger minds.
    I'm looking forward to using it when it comes to the Android Market.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
    • Likesbutts

      I DONT like your butt

      December 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  26. bob

    The RobotHead app tells me the future up to a 1000 years on any subject not just the weather

    December 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  27. JT

    These guys should really think about moving forward with the android app at the same time or even first. I know it probably won't sell very well, but the MOTOACTIVE or w/e it's called is being marketed as a personal fitness device. The ability to predict rainstorms within an hour's time would be VERY appealing for a product like that. It also probably has more sensors (temperature) that could improve the forcasting abilities (or just tell you the temp...)

    December 20, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  28. wxman

    This app will probably work just fine for rain areas that don't change shape, size, intensity and or direction over time. Unfortunately, that's about 5% of the time. Good luck!

    December 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Reply
    • Another wxman

      Apparently you need to read how it works. Over short timescales of a few minutes, you can consider weather behavior to be practically linear. That's why their predictions only go up to an hour. Most of the time their predictions are good only for the next several minutes.

      In other words, this app might buy you a few extra minutes outdoors before getting soaked. Or it might tell you that running inside is unnecessary.

      The only hesitation I have about this app is regarding lightning. Hopefully it will take that into account and tell people to take cover even if rain is unlikely.

      December 21, 2011 at 12:03 am | Reply
  29. FauxNews

    My app forecasts to within a millisecond on when it will rain, and to within a microsecond of when it will snow. The important term there is "forecasts".

    December 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • UHH

      Uhh im gonna call BS

      December 23, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  30. blossoms

    Absolutely fabulous tool for photographing rainbows! And other photo projects. And knowing just how long you will be stuck on a trail under a tree waiting the rain out is invaluable too.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • SilentBoy741

      If you're out standing under a tree in a rainstorm, then I really think you should be downloading the Lightning Predicter app instead...

      December 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  31. Ton

    Just wonder why Apple fan is so prone to misinformation and propaganda? weather tracking data is there, a little google search will tell you where to expect what. Selling an app for $10 just by pulling free information online (indeed the government paid for these so-called free services), combing with GPS location, that must be easy. Remember that from the scientific point of view, pin point a location of a rain is much of lucky draw. Even super computer has hard time dealing with complicated simulations, I just wonder how your phone is going to tell you much for nothing? oh no, you will pay for it.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  32. James

    Sorry but let me look at the last hour of radar images and I think anyone could predict when it was going to rain.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  33. 4sanity

    I have an even more precise app for this function that will measure rain fall to the second. Roll down the window, stick your iPhone out, wait 30 secs, observe. If aqueous hydroxide of hydrogen obscures the shiny glass, it's raining. If the phone stops working it's raining really hard. Send $0.99 to

    December 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Reply
    • SilentBoy741

      Well, that beats my app. It just tells you that's raining right now. Somewhere.

      December 20, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  34. dp2001

    I admire the idea and someone would find some use for it if it works. There will always be skeptics and critics who think they know everything right off the bat. All these apps and hardware are so new that no one can possibly understand them, let alone shutting them out before the apps are even developed. Yes, it relies on existing technology and all those two guys are doing may be simply connecting the dots and adding some alogrithms to it to "predict" something. But then, isn't it how science and technology moves forward little by little?
    And yeah, they may have watched Back to the Future too many times. What's the problem with that? Someone must have watched "Star Trek – Wrath of Kahn" before inventing the flip phones.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Reply
    • Ton

      Yes, I agree that tech evolves. But there is a limit on what can be done. I used to do a lot of GIS and triangulation in my work, let me tell you, there is nothing mysterious here. Your phone cannot do the thing supposed to be done by a supercomputer. The point of this whole article is about "hey, I have something cool, let get some money for this freaking idea". Maybe freaking for novice, but I do suggest whoever out there take a lesson on weather forecasting before telling a bs story. If you think a simple triangulation and distance weighting of weather grids from NOAA can give you good approximation, learn again.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  35. kim

    UP To An Hour..'.don't need a weather man to know which way the winds blowing'.....look out your window.....

    December 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • UHH kim you suck

      oh i forgot you can SEE wind outside your window...Idiot read about what the app actually is. its not a wind predictor. It tells you exactly when it will rain. Something you might want to know when making plans or taking a road trip or something...Do some more reading before commenting on this. I think its a great idea. AND IT WORKS!!!

      December 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  36. Burbank

    Great idea! It could be very useful for planning whether you have enough time to mow the lawn before it starts raining or if it's safe to go for a walk without the umbrella or shopping for groceries and such. I'd buy it.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Reply
    • mpouxesas

      I have an app myself too and it is the most reliable. I take a look outside the window/door/etc (depending on where I am) and it's telling me with 100% accuracy whether it rains or not. I call it 24 hours a day weather forecast. Just take a look outside! Also, it is free....

      December 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Reply
      • Across12

        Yep, and in the meantime shoot clips for Geico, is that you?

        December 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • dt

      WRONG. This type of knowledge is reserved for God only. People using this app will be hunted down by the faithful and no doubt be beheaded.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
      • Lucifer

        never heard of Geoengineering? They have only been doing it for at least a decade.

        December 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  37. Stormchaser

    I have an App on my phone for the rain. If i'm in my car, i hold the phone out the window and if raindrops hit it, there is a high likelyhood that there is rain on the other side of the window. Works every time and it's free.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Reply
    • Why all the haters?

      So you can hold your iPhone out the window of your car and if it gets wet, that is your statistically accurate measurement of what the weather will be for the next 60 minutes? Obvioulsy you can look out a window and see what the weather is at that precise moment, but that's not what this app is touting. Is it giving you a statictically calculated probability of what the weather will be like for the next hour.

      December 21, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
      • Febe

        Hi. Really cool Apollo app.I have created a site to share Apollo apps caleld I have uploaded your app! Do you mind?You can alos create an account and upload it yourself! greetings

        October 24, 2012 at 6:52 am |
  38. Across12

    You cannot expect someone to understand the role of this apps if they are looking for it in Apple store after reading the article, can you? Now, if this application will offer certainty in terms of raining on a cloudy sky, even for an hour interval, it's simply huge. 

    December 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • Ken

      someone has been watching too much "back to the future 2" here. The app is only stating the obvious weather in the most statistically safe frame of reference. Any person can look at the radar picture and get a wind reading and know this. It's really simple math, nothing magical. With knowing wind direction and speed, width of precipitation, and my location, I don't even need a calculator if I have the radar pic in hand.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Reply
      • Burbank

        Your typical housewife planning on grocery shopping and needing to stand outside and load countless bags in the car or guy that needs to know if it's safe to mow the lawn or not is not that smart. You would be the arrogant idiot that would miss out on making tons of money on this app while the guy that did is laughing all the way to the bank. Watch out for arrogance, it makes you blind!

        December 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
      • Across12

        Thank you Einstein, I would just check the apps if you don't mind, I'm overwhelmed.

        December 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
      • Lisa

        You're an idiot with a typical "C" student reply. Storm motion isn't determined by the surface wind (i.e., your "wind reading"). It's determined by winds through the depth of the troposphere, particularly in the mid-levels. Also, atmospheric motion is non-linear (refer to a text book about atmospheric dynamics for an explanation, if you can follow it).

        December 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  39. WeatherGirl

    Yet all radar data comes from the NWS unless you are one of the lucky few toting around a DOW. Your radar isn't going to get any better people.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • Ramesh

      Depends on how the developer has pmergamrod the client they are distributing. Some developers create launchers inside their apps to enable easy updates, but the majority doesn't. So in general, I would say that you won't get updates for it if you got it off your computer. PS. Check out ZENONIA and Baseball Superstars on the Android Market!

      July 21, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply
  40. stormy123

    This APP is flawed from the beginning. For starters, triangulation of mobile locations and even GPS isnt as accurate as most people think. Its also not as real-time as most people think. If an app cannot guarantee locations statistically to within 99.999% you wont get accurate real time rain predictions. Its a statistical fact. Second, they are baising their analysis on radar data sounds like which also is off, based on rounding of the atmosphere, inaccuracy of data, conversion of radar data to geo locations, and then fill in data between loop frames which itself must have a low level of accuracy. Again its a statistical problem. In math we know if you expect to round off a number to say the 4 place, your data accuracy needs to have that level as well. So, its a flawed model. Until the government releases or creates that level of real time data for the public, its pointless. My high def mobile radars tell me all I need to know....

    December 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • Scuba Steve

      Cows go moo. I have gas. Will you please pull my finger?

      December 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • respondus

      I would say it's as accurate as most humans will notice or need really. My Iphone will show my exact location matching up with satellite image (even down to the part of the house I am in) and even show me walking or driving. This could be because I live in a major metropolitan area with tons of towers nearby. A delay in a few seconds or a mismatch in a few feet is not going to matter to most people with this app or any other.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • Rieszky

      I must say, as very much as I enjoyed rndaieg what you had to say, I couldnt help but lose interest after a while. Its as if you had a wonderful grasp around the subject matter, but you forgot to include your readers. Perhaps you should think about this from extra than one angle. Or maybe you shouldnt generalise so considerably. Its better if you think about what others may have to say instead of just going for a gut reaction to the subject. Think about adjusting your personal believed process and giving others who may read this the benefit of the doubt.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  41. Nick

    I wrote an app once that told you when you needed to take a dump. It was actually pretty simple, as soon as you felt like you needed to take a dump you pressed 1 on your iphone and it immediatly told you to head to the bathroom.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  42. JMan

    Hey, we're finally catching up to Back to the Future!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  43. JD

    another Back to the Future prediction comes true! First, it was the Kinect, and now the weather forecast!

    December 20, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  44. av667

    accuweather's weatherlab allows you to predict up to 2 or 3 hours with remarkable accuracy once you become accustomed to their system. We use it every day nationwide for different construction jobs we have and their mobile app works just as well. It is a paid service though.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  45. Across12

    Let me draw a picture for you and hopefully you will understand the role of this apps. Think about yourself being on a football stadium with thunders and lightnings over your head on a cloudy sky, and you think to yourself, should I leave now in order to stay dry or should I linger another 10 min? The apps it will tell you if  it's going to rain next min or anywhere in the next 60 min. Is that helpful for you to know, hell it is. 

    December 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • metgirl

      If there is lightning going on overhead I'd think the last thing you should be worried about is whether you're going to get wet! So many people don't take the threat of lightning seriously...

      December 20, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  46. Josh

    Who cares. Enjoy life regardless of if it's raining or not. Most of us aren't allergic to water.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
    • Francisco

      well everything is rnnuing smoothly thank you sir. linked up well and is playing damn great!!! love the fact that if i want to i can stream it through the app or just download it to my phone. Bad ass!! can't wait for the rest of my tunes to upload lol. the upload isn't doing to bad either i sent up 10k and so far its doing about 140 per hr. so it might not take as long as im expecting it to.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
  47. Carl in Rosemead

    I'm still waiting for the God app where I can create anything at the touch of a button.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  48. Chris

    Wouldn't it be easier to just look outside if you're so worried about immediate weather conditions? Better yet, you can just hang a weather string up. If it's blowing, it's windy. If it's dripping, it's probably raining. Problem solved.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • Thenextstep

      LMAO............... 🙂

      December 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • Across12

      That's the point dummy, if it's cloudy you don't know for sure if it's raining next minute or not. Stop reading please, it doesn't fits you.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
      • Justin

        Wow, talk about a harsh response to such a benign post. There's someone who takes the weather personally.

        December 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
      • Jakebean

        Now that's funny...

        December 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
      • ted

        Sounds to me like you are the dummy. if you need this app to complete your life so you know exactly when a weatherman says it will rain, then it is you who have an OCD problem.

        I would love to see what would happen about six months after you have the app and then you can't get internet service. Afraid to go outside because it might rain!! This world is going downhill very fast.

        December 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • T

      That would be a windows app

      December 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  49. Thenextstep

    If weather were an exact science then this would of been captured years ago. Bit since it is not, it will NEVER be captured.... Yes, while earth models, mathematics, and physics are not going anywhere, the natural uncertainties
    dynamically change to much to be captured by any feature space.............

    December 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Reply
    • Zach

      I'm sure that we will home in on more accurate readings in the future. Just because we can't explain all variation now doesn't mean that we won't be able to explain more in the future.

      December 20, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  50. Across12

    Actually the application is going to be really useful for those who really got to know if it's raining now or next your, especially when you have an outside sport activity or any sort of event like he mentioned about his wedding ceremony. Regular weather apps dont tell you when it's cloudy if it's really going to rain or not, they will mention only about humidity which comprises the whole day, which is not helpful when you have an outdoor activity and need to know this hour what's going to happen. Kudos to the developers. 

    December 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • metgirl

      I agree with one caveat. I'd like to know how their app would deal with thunderstorms vs rain showers. It sounds like they just time how long before you are located under the radar echo. This could be dangerous for thunder, as lightning can strike 20 miles (up to 200 miles!) outside the footprint of the main rain shower area. So I wouldn't want to be sitting outside at a little league game up to the time that the app said it would start raining. We shall see how they deal with safety measures of that type. 🙂

      December 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  51. metgirl

    While I applaud them for being able to write a program to extrapolate between (radar) volume scans and use GPS to figure out when you'll be 'under the green blobs'. This is not prediction. It will be useful in telling people when a certain rainshower is going to be over them, it won't be able to deal with new showers that pop up and also won't be able to handle abrupt shift in storm track with more severe storms.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • sharklasers

      I heard they're using optical flow and machine learning algorithms on the backend so it's actually true prediction- not interpolation- and it's prediction that gets better with time and experience.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • metgirl

      I said extrapolation, not interpolation. They are using the past volume scans and telling you (if it doesn't change direction and speed) how long it will be before the echo is on top of you. This is not prediction. Optical flow is simply saying "i'm watching the progress of this blob". I don't know about machine smart algorithms. But each rain shower or thunderstorm can behave any way it wants to depending on 10-30 variables; so just because something happened a certain way last time doesn't mean it will this time at all. That's just my guess at what you mean by "better with exerience".

      December 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  52. Nathan Sokalski

    I don't think this will be much more useful than the current weather apps that we have. The current weather apps give the weather predictions hour by hour, but as we all know (or should know) is that even those are not always correct. If you can't have hour by hour that is always correct, I doubt that minute by minute will be much better.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • Ferhat

      I think the dogs have the right idea and yes they might melt in the rain. I for one do not like to get my furs wet ehtier! hee hee JB

      February 22, 2012 at 3:37 am | Reply
  53. Dan

    Really? The weathermen can't predict hot weather in Texas in July. Now if they would deposit a $1 in my PayPal account every time they were wrong I'd be interested.

    December 20, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
  54. tom

    How far in advance it can tell you of rain will be the deciding factor in it's success. 1/2 hour may not be useful, but a few hours notice would be great. Also brings up the fact that I wish iPhones had a temperature gauge on them, a lot of personal use apps could be made from tracking one's local/immediate temperature.

    December 20, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • Robert

      I'm sure the iPhone has a built-in thermometer. My old Apple Newton (anyone remember this?) had one and you could pull it up if you knew how. The device uses it to know when it needs to shutdown charging or operation due to temperature extremes. Not sure why they don't make it available.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • Reshmi

      cmc033098 on September 19, 2011 Giving away this lpotap because i just got a macbook pro so theres no need for me to have it all you have to do is comment saying GATEWAY FAVORITE LIKE SUBSCRIBE THANKS FOR WATCHING! Category Film Animation

      February 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Reply
      • Mary

        Hi Lisa, I truly wish you the best in all your future eoreavnds. Whenever I was at a crossroad and trying to make a decision, my very wise grandmother would say: You can stay back in ease and comfort or move forward to growth. Although we (the QVC viewers) will miss seeing you, I am so happy you have chosen to move forward. A year and a half ago, I left my job of nine years to accept a more challenging position. At first I worried that I had made the wrong decision afterall this new position was much more difficult and required me to learn new things. However, this challenge was just the thing I needed to inject new passion into my career.I commend you for taking that leap of faith. It is not easy to leave a comfortable position, especially in a difficult job market and sluggish economy. Best of luck with all of your future projects. I hope to meet you at your book signing.

        August 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  55. Raindance

    Fantastic. I can think of all kinds of ways to use this- taking in the laundry, packing up the picnic stuff, having
    guests wait a few minutes before the outdoor wedding ... knowing when to begin the parade!

    December 20, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
  56. Ron

    Never been able to find this app in the App Store. How do I find it?

    December 20, 2011 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • Nathan Sokalski

      That's probably because it sounds like they haven't finished it yet. They mentioned a prototype, but that basically means a test version that they wrote for themselves so that they could try it out and test it before making it available to the public (you don't want to use something that hasn't been tested, do you?).

      December 20, 2011 at 11:54 am | Reply
    • Mimi

      The article clearly indicates it is still in development and should be released next March.

      December 20, 2011 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • Across12

      It's not on yet, next the article....dahh.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  57. Pete

    Customer: "Hey! I paid $5 for this app and it said it would rain at 3:15 but it didn't rain until 3:45!"
    Company: "Look at the buried fine print where we predicted that one molecule of H2O will drop 1" somewhere in the atmosphere within 5 square miles of the area."

    December 20, 2011 at 11:22 am | Reply
  58. xdougx


    December 20, 2011 at 11:17 am | Reply
  59. sam

    Witchcraft! Witchcraft! Throw it in the river and see if it floats!

    December 20, 2011 at 11:13 am | Reply
  60. Duckerbunny

    I will only be impressed when they can tell you exactly where each rain drop will fall. Nice app though, kudo's to the weatherman

    December 20, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
  61. Mean Girls

    My breasts can predict the weather too. ::feeling them:: There's a 30% chance that it is already raining.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • SilentBoy741

      Your statistics appear to be artifiicially enchanced specifically to support your point(s).

      December 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  62. Richard

    Absolutely ludicrous! I'm a meteorologist and this is another absurd claim.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • Mr. Patrick

      Well, I can hold *YOU* personally responsible for poor weather predictions then!

      December 20, 2011 at 11:35 am | Reply
      • juan

        mabiigyal100 on September 25, 2011 @MyFreeProductSamples oh wow thank u so much .this helps me a lot .luv ur all videos and i also did the suave video twice 2 weeks ago and also i did the same mistakes like u did i chose 1 free product at first and then second time i chose 2 free products but 1 more thing u also can answered this suave video again by removing cookies from ur adobe flash ..i did that .so i am hoping i ll reach 5(1+2+2)suave prducts coupon in my mail soon .i did 3 times in a same system..try that

        February 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Dennis

      Richard – I am also a meteorologist, and taught operational weather forecasting for the Department of Defense for a long time. The BEST forecasting technique, short term, is continuity and extrapolation. This is all that they have done. Their idea had merit, but as they indicate, it is ONLY viable for the short term. Trends may not persist; patterns change.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • metgirl

      Agree with Dennis on this one. All they're doing is extrapolating the current track of radar echoes and correlating it with where the user is located by GPS. I could write an algorithm like that. I see it's usefulness for small things like those mentioned. I do take offense that the developers don't seem to understand that meteorology is all about fluid dynamics...they haven't discovered anything new there. Also don't get why they think meteorolgy is stuck decades back? We have new research and development going on constantly.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Reply
      • James

        lreeubgos on February 28, 2011 thanx man i lost the main remote and only had the 2nd remote got it all running again

        February 22, 2012 at 3:05 am |
  63. anotherpointless

    APP =another poinlless program. So someone finally figured out how to look at a online radar. Been doing this for years on a old PC. This will just be another distraction for someone while driving. People dont understand the dangers that these "smart phones" cause when in use by "dumb people"

    December 20, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Maria

      MySamisbest on June 23, 2011 @columbuscrewfan20 4 4 is 4wd you can cngahe it from 2wd 4 high and 4 low and no it isnt standard 4 2 is rear wheel drive

      February 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Reply
      • Jinsar

        There are certainly lots of prtuicalars like that to take into consideration. That could be a great level to bring up. I supply the thoughts above as basic inspiration however clearly there are questions like the one you convey up the place the most important factor shall be working in sincere good faith. I don?t know if finest practices have emerged around things like that, but I'm sure that your job is clearly recognized as a good game. Both girls and boys really feel the influence of just a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

        March 19, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  64. Whse Go Blue

    $5 to $10 for this app, ANY app? No way. $0.99 max. or free.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • Luis

      hi, Lisa! Been a fan for years, my hubby loves you too! I was sitting here woirkng on my computer last week with the diamonique show on in the background and when you talked about your web site, my little ears perked up! So here I am. I think a book sounds great. I know I will buy it and I am sure it will be good. Love your spirit, you make me smile and I look forward to whatever you do next. I am staying tuned! xo, mary

      August 22, 2012 at 3:36 am | Reply
  65. SteveS

    Big freaking deal. I already have Rain Alarm free for this. Works great.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:23 am | Reply
  66. Max in NY

    I went to SUNY Albany (located right by Troy)...this has to be the biggest thing to come out of that region in 20 years haha

    December 20, 2011 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • Megan

      I agree! I live across the Hudson in East Greenbush and my jaw dropped when I saw these guys were from Troy.

      December 20, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
  67. pathit

    While it is a neat idea and has some utility it is important to note that it does not rain uniformly across a storm mass so "precisely when and where " is at best an exaggeration. It does tell you when you are out from a front.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:21 am | Reply
  68. ConcernedNetizen

    If you want TRULY accuracte rain predictions, mix internet RADAR with GPS, and an onboard barometric pressure sensor. One of my old HTC tilts had one as part of the sensor package. Apple DID NOT at the time, and based off this article...still does not..

    December 20, 2011 at 10:16 am | Reply
  69. ConcernedNetizen

    If you want TRULY accuracte rain predictions, mix internet RADAR with GPS, and an onboard barometric pressure sensor. One of my old HTC tilts had one as part of the sensor package. Apple DID NOT at the time, and based off this article...still does not.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • ConcernedNetizen

      and apologies for the double post !

      December 20, 2011 at 10:18 am | Reply
    • John

      No phone had this, why single out apple? Im not even sure youre telling the truth

      December 20, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
      • Nathan Sokalski

        Probably because Apple hasn't done a good job of doing anything since they existed, the average person is just too stupid to realize it.

        December 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Kevin C. Burns

      I believe the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a barometer in it. Up to developers to use it.

      December 20, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.