AccuWeather, a leading source of weather forecasts and warnings as well as digital media and weather-related big data, announced that several staff meteorologists would receive the Award for an Exceptional Specific Prediction from the American Meteorological Society (AMS) at the group’s 98th annual meeting, Jan. 7 - 11, in Austin, Texas. The presentation marked the first time the Award for an Exceptional Specific Prediction has been given to a commercial weather service.
Ali (Karlin) Davis, a 2007 graduate of Great Bend High School, was part of the four-person AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions (AES) team recognized for a prediction of flash flooding in a challenging, data-sparse environment, which prevented potential train derailments and loss of life and property. Davis graduated in 2011 from Valparaiso (Indiana) University with a bachelor’s degree in meteorological science.
“This special recognition is perhaps one of the greatest validations of the value we bring to our clients in minimizing risk and liability and keeping people safe and out of harm’s way with the most accurate forecasts and warnings,” said Jonathan Porter, vice president of Business Services and general manager of Enterprise Solutions. “This team’s achievement in winning the award for an Exceptional Specific Prediction, which until now had only been bestowed on government agencies, underscores our ability to help our customers in a wide range of industries make the best decisions in a weather emergency and anytime weather is a factor.”
The AES SkyGuard Warning Service provides precise, proactive site-specific warnings of snow, flooding, hail, high winds, hurricanes, tornadoes and much more. On July 19, 2013, the AES forecasting team delivered a remarkable warning to Ferromex, Mexico’s largest railroad. AES monitors all 5,000 miles of track used by Ferromex and provides notification when weather could create hazards.
Most of Mexico is not covered by weather radar, limiting the amount of information available for predictions. However, AES developed an innovative technique using data including lightning and weather satellites to create accurate flash flood warnings. “That evening, we were able to warn Ferromex that flash flooding would occur across 40 miles of track in the Copper River Canyon in northern Mexico,” recalled Becky DePodwin, a member of the forecasting team.
In response to the warning, Ferromex stopped rail traffic across those areas until the next morning. When they inspected the tracks, they found several places where the tracks had washed out.
Without this warning, conditions were rife for catastrophe. AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions “gave us the tools we needed to prevent a major mishap,” said Ferromex General Manager Al Cisneros in supporting the team’s nomination for the award.
The AMS award illustrates how AccuWeather, which has built a reputation worldwide for forecasts and warnings with Superior Accuracy™, helps thousands of businesses in a wide range of industries and government agencies minimize the impacts of severe weather, thereby protecting people and property.
“If a train had gone through, it would have derailed, endangering people and costing potentially many millions of dollars,” DePodwin said. “It is gratifying to have been a member of the team that is completely committed to Superior Accuracy and enabled Ferromex to avoid that risk.”