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Amazon, Microsoft officials discuss uses of NOAA's weather data collection


FAIRMONT — Representatives from Amazon and Microsoft attended last week’s Focus Forward: Beyond the Cloud event to discuss the various ways that companies in the private weather industry have made use of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s data that Amazon and Microsoft have helped store in the cloud.

Zac Flamig, tech lead on the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative, was first to speak, and he detailed six separate Amazon customers and how they’re using NOAA’s weather data to accomplish everything from drought monitoring in Africa to land restoration in Australia.

Flamig first presented a company called Solcast, which he said uses NOAA’s data to forecast solar power production.

“One of the challenges of managing power grids, especially with renewable (sources), is if you’re going to have enough power to meet demand,” Flamig said. “Should you be storing access power now? They’re able to forecast where cloud cover is going to be at a specific time, so they’re able to see how the generation network is going to change.”

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