This afternoon the Unidata Program Center received a message from Dr. Perry Samson of the University of Michigan. Dr. Samson is a co-founder of The Weather Underground, and has long been affiliated with the Unidata community. He writes:
This afternoon The Weather Underground was acquired by The Weather Channel.
The Weather Underground has its roots at the University of Michigan in the late '80s as a telnet session (dubbed UM-Weather) so I could get weather data before a 9:00 class. It evolved, with NSF support, to build one of the first interactive graphics tools (Blue Skies) on what was known as NSFNet, using gopher technology. Eventually it evolved into a web site for use with K-12 education.
The students involved, including Alan Steremberg, Jeff Masters, and Chris Schwerzler plus a former staff member, Jeff Ferguson, regrouped the effort a few years after graduation into the commercial site http://www.wunderground.com. Today The Weather Underground has grown to be one of the top 100 most visited web sites in the United States and is expected to grow even faster after the acquisition.
I hope you will join me in celebrating this milestone. It is truly amazing what can come out of undergraduate projects at Michigan.
Dr. Jeff Masters has written more on the merger on his blog.
The Unidata Program Center wishes everyone at The Weather Underground success in the next phase of their endeavors.