As climate change fuels more dangerous and unpredictable storms, companies and sports leagues rely on weather data from Tomorrow.io to help navigate the future.
Serena Williams walked onto the tennis court in New York to thwack practice shots on a Wednesday morning in August a week before her final appearance at the US Open. Up above, in a box office at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, the tournament’s head honchos ignored the superstar. They were transfixed by 17 monitors in the room, which showed local weather patterns, heat levels, and live camera feeds around the stadium. All those data points were designed to answer one question: Should they close the roof?
The stadium’s retractable dome, a $150 million engineering marvel, is the difference between a nationally televised sporting success and a disaster. The United States Tennis Association installed it in 2016, after a men’s final got nixed in heavy rain, and added a dome to the tournament’s second stadium two years later. Still, the elements have outmatched the architecture. Last fall, Hurricane Ida struck the East Coast, bringing historic and unexpected rainfall and winds to New York. The USTA closed the roof and postponed matches but didn’t cancel the event or turn fans away. As the storm worsened, thousands of spectators were stranded in floods, and the organizers were blamed.
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