The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative is pleased to announce a new partnership with Earth Networks, owners of the world’s largest hyperlocal weather networks, to provide access to highly advanced weather intelligence and lightning data.

Earth Networks provides companies with weather intelligence data to help automate decision-making and mitigate operational, financial and human risk across the globe. They are best known as the original creators of the popular WeatherBug mobile app used by millions of consumers to track severe weather and lightning activity.

WCAI is offering access to Earth Networks data to the Penn community to expand the impact of these rich data assets for a variety of uses, including, but not restricted to:

  • Integration into formal course curricula, lesson plans, or assignments by faculty
  • Faculty-advised individual or group projects for undergraduate and graduate students
  • Data analysis conducted by PhD candidates and other Penn-affiliated researchers
  • Appending weather data to other datasets, to use for any of the above
  • Other applications across different industries, including insurance, retail, telematics, airline, and drone
  • Development of innovative hardware/software solutions or forecasting tools, including elements of web/mobile development

In addition to data access, successful applicants will receive support and feedback from Earth Networks’ staff scientists, and will submit evidence of proposed project outcomes to WCAI and Earth Networks at the end of the semester.

Earth Networks is also offering up to 3 travel stipends for students (up to $1,500 each) to attend and present their research at an industry event. To qualify for a stipend, research must be sponsored by a faculty member and a submitted abstract must be accepted by the event. Preference will be given to students who present at non-atmospheric related conferences, to showcase the power of weather data in different vertical markets.

Interested faculty and students should apply online to receive access to the data. To learn more about Earth Networks and their data, please e-mail


Data Summary

Note: Data is available in real time or historically

  • Weather observations from approximately 5,000 weather stations, primarily located within the U.S., including approximately 70 current condition data points
  • 10 Day-Night Forecast, including cloud cover percentage, dew point, precipitation probability, relative humidity, temp, thunderstorm probability
  • Up-to-the minute US weather alerts from the National Weather Service
  • Hourly 6-Day Forecast
  • Radar and temperature maps from Earth Networks Satellite, including animated series of time-sequential images
  • Daily Air Quality Forecast, providing Air Quality Index and full-text discussion data based on location.
  • Daily Ultraviolet Index
  • Tiled weather images formatted for Google Maps showing temperature, humidity, pressure, and forecast
  • Access to advanced lightning data for more than 90 countries, including height, flash type, amplitude and confidence


Application Process & Project Timeline

Penn-affiliated faculty and students are eligible to apply for data access at any time. To apply, submit a one-page project proposal clearly explaining how the data will be used. Projects will be reviewed by the WCAI research team on a rolling basis, and successful applicants can expect to receive data access within 1-2 weeks following the date of project submission.

  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis
  • Within 2 months, project progress call will be scheduled between project team and a data scientist from Earth Networks
  • Within 4 months, project deliverable or evidence of project outcomes is due



Earth Networks Proposal Submission

  • Applicant Information

  • To apply, you must provide a valid UPenn email address
  • Examples: Grad Student, Faculty
  • Examples: WG'18, The School of Design
  • Proposal Information

  • Examples: Coursework, Class assignment, Research project, Web/Mobile app
  • Example: 3 months
  • Examples: Research findings, Models, Research paper, App access/download
  • Example: Weather observations for 19146 for month of May
  • Accepted file types: pdf.