IBM has finally combined literal clouds with cloud computing. On Wednesday, the company announced that it will acquire most assets of the Weather Company, notably excluding The Weather Channel television network. IBM intends to pair its artificial intelligence business, Watson, with the vast weather data repository of the Weather Company. The deal is reportedly worth $2 billion.
The Weather Company includes online brands such as weather.com, wunderground.com, and intellicast.com as well as a business-to-business enterprise. It collects weather data from more than 40 million smartphones and 50,000 airplane flights per day. The company’s data supports both the Weather Company’s own apps as well as 26 billion third-party requests each day. After the acquisition, the companies plan to combine this vast amount of data with the Watson computing system’s analytical powers to help users make more informed decisions.