Vaisala launches Xweather to battle impacts of weather and climate change

29th September 2022
Sheryl Miles

Vaisala, a global specialist in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements, has announced the launch of Xweather.

Vaisala Xweather is an environment forecast and observation service using intelligent sensors that turns observations and forecasts into insights and actions. Xweather has been created for businesses and developers whose products, operations, or customers depend on high quality weather and environmental information. 

For close to a century, Vaisala has helped people and companies across the globe – with products even in space – to understand climate, mitigate its volatile impacts, and adapt to severe conditions.

“Now, it’s time to accelerate our efforts with actionable data that can help us predict the future. Humans have fought challenges from war and hunger to pandemics for millennia. Now we are facing a threat like no other: climate change and its impact on local conditions. Climate change can force people from their homes, accelerate biodiversity loss, and ignite conflicts over resources. But if a challenge can be measured and quantified, it can be solved. By giving access to this comprehensive data, we want to provide tools for everyone to act and solve the environment,” says Samuli Hänninen, Global Head of Xweather at Vaisala.

Xweather is a suite of observation enhanced SaaS (Solution as a Service) and DaaS (Data as a Service) services that provides an unprecedented amount of environmental information from road conditions and air quality to heat wave detection, and lightning strikes.

New levels of accuracy and actionable climate insight with real-time, hyperlocal environmental data

For many companies and organisations, a primary source of error in weather and environment forecasting has been the inability to properly observe and generate data about the environment, in real time from a hyperlocal place that is relevant for their business.

Xweather brings a new level of accuracy to forecasting by harnessing data from several sources, including intelligent sensors. It combines massive amounts of environmental data in real time and delivers it via the cloud for use by the latest artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.

Altogether, Xweather comprises a wide portfolio of data services and solutions with multiple industry leading applications for, for example, renewable energy and automotive industries, or for managing the threat posed by wildfires.

“We want to inspire and enable organisations around the world to take on the challenges that we face today and tomorrow. Instead of feeling anxiety over climate change, we want to equip people with data and tools to take action,” concludes Hänninen.

Xweather includes solutions from predicting lightning and availability of renewable energy to increased driving safety

Thunderstorms cause hundreds of billions of dollars of damage globally each year. In 2021, Vaisala’s sensors picked up more than 194 million lightning events in the United States – 24 million more than in 2020. Lightning-triggered wildfires burned more than two million acres in the country in 2021.

“Eight of the worst wildfire years on record happened in the last decade. Droughts, such as those recently experienced in California, Colorado, Italy, and Spain, are increasing and further intensifying wildfires due to the arid ground, bushes, and trees. For wildfires sparked by lightning, Xweather can detect where and when lightning strikes happen – and will tell you immediately. With this knowledge, the right infrastructure and rescue services can be mobilised quickly to manage a potential fire, and protect homes and lives,” says Scott Mackaro, Head of Insights & Innovation, Weather and Environment at Vaisala.

Serving customers like Bosch, BMW, Volkswagen Group, Hyundai, and Mercedes-Benz AG, Xweather delivers road and weather data to enhance driver safety and passenger comfort. With the continuing increase of cars with advanced driver assistance technologies, the importance of highly accurate data is only poised to increase.

“As advanced as these cars are, they still have to contend with the realities of weather. With Xweather, we can provide information on upcoming snow and rain directly to the car, warning about ice and slippery road surfaces,” adds Mackaro.

Renewable energy is an increasingly important source of electricity. To ensure that it continues to grow its share as an energy source, energy grid operators and energy companies need accurate predictions on the availability of wind and solar power. With the current global energy crisis, the importance of renewable energy and efficiency of energy transmissions are growing quicker than ever.

“Renewables are the key to a future of zero emissions and reversing the impacts of human induced climate change. Weather is a critically important element in the efficiency and use of renewable sources. With data from every minute, hour, or day, we can design technology that makes the right energy choices for increasingly specific time and location,” adds Mackaro.

Full list of data products included in Xweather:

  • Automotive – Weather, road weather and air quality information for infotainment, navigation, advanced driver assistance and autonomous driving.
  • Lightning – Real-time lightning data, including classification of strikes and their damage potential.
  • Renewable energy – Historic data sets and forecasted wind and solar.
  • MapsGL – The future of weather mapping is here. A variety of simple tools to customise and integrate high-quality, vector-based weather data, imagery, and visualisations into your application.
  • AerisWeather Weather API provides a broad range of hyper-local environmental data: minutely forecasts, and data endpoints like severe weather alerts, tropical storms, air quality, lightning strikes, and wildfires.
  • AerisWeather Maps API – Flexible weather mapping platform giving you exactly the imagery and map overlay tiles you need.
  • Air Quality – Air Quality Index available as an API and as a hyperlocal service connected to local sensors for street level AQ information and forecasts.

Full List of solutions to business users included in XWeather:

  • Wx Beacon – Solution for observation enhanced microscale weather connected to AtmoCast sensor.
  • Thunderstorm manager – Web-based worldwide thunderstorm tracking with accurate lightning detection including up-to-the-second lightning data and real-time lightning alerts based on Vaisala’s proprietary global lighting detection network.
  • Wx Horizon – For road weather and road winter maintenance decision support, connected to GroundCast and TempCast sensors.
  • RoadAI – Solution for road pavement condition mapping through an automated road survey utilising computer vision and AI.

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