After 17 years on its own, the crowdsourced, user-favorite Weather Underground will become a member of the Weather Channel family. Stormy weather ahead?
Both The Weather Channel and Weather Underground say we’ve got nothing to worry about — the acquisition won’t affect the services offered at Wunderground.com. The deal will actually afford the independently-minded WU the opportunity to produce new products and services down the line. According to a blog post by co-Founder Jeff Masters, the two companies have discussed a deal several times over the years, but that due to a recent spike in WU’s popularity and staff, it finally makes sense now.
The plan is to make both wunderground.com and weather.com stronger, by sharing content and infrastructure. Many Weather Underground features, such as our Personal Weather Station data, WunderMap, and my blog, are scheduled to also appear on the weather.com web site in the coming months. My blog’s main home will continue to be wunderground.com, and I have been asked to continue to write the same variety of science-based posts on hurricanes, extreme weather, and climate change that I’ve provided since 2005. I enjoy communicating weather science, and am pleased I will be able to do this for both wunderground and The Weather Channel, which has an audience about three times as large as wunderground’s.
If everything goes according to plan this could actually be a great thing. We’re daily users of both Weather.com’s forcasts and WU’s WunderMap. But we also know that acquisitions like this can go horribly wrong. Let’s just hope WU’s weirdness is kept intact under the wing of its new overlord. [Weather Underground and BusinessWire via TechCrunch]