Scott Pecoriello Predicts WeatherOptics Will Disrupt Meteorology

In kindergarten, Scott Pecoriello was curious about rain. His parents showed him a radar map. Hooked, he checked it every day.

The next year he drew a map of the Northeast, and colored in storms. Soon, he was trying to figure out how tornadoes form. (He was completely wrong.)

Scott Pecioriello drew this map -- freehand -- when he was 10 years old.

Scott Pecioriello drew this weather map when he was 10 years old.

From there Scott advanced to the Weather Channel. Then came online forums like AWE (the Association of Weather Enthusiasts), filled with people who share his passion. He taught himself all about meteorology.

Six years ago — as a Staples High School freshman — Scott got tired of sharing his maps and forecasts with a few family members. He started a blog called Wild About Weather. It drew about 12 followers (mostly family members).

When he started a Facebook page, his audience exploded. With each storm he forecast correctly, his followers grew. During Hurricane Irene, the numbers snowballed (so to speak). In one blizzard, he had a web reach of 2.3 million people.

Soon, Wild About Weather became a real business. Scott recruited college meteorologists. He opened a premium section, with customers paying for personalized forecasting, weather consulting and exclusive content. He soon had 200 subscribers.

Next, Scott created an app called “Know Snow.” It predicted the chances that school would close, for every town in Fairfield County. With 4,000 downloads, it was the go-to app for students, parents, teachers — and administrators.

In 2015 Scott changed his website’s name to the more professional sounding WeatherOptics. With 25,000 followers — and over 1 million hits a week — it attracted plenty of media attention.

Scott Pecoriello is interviewed on CNBC.

Then things really exploded.

In July, meteorologist Henry Margusity — his childhood idol — told Scott he was retiring from AccuWeather. Henry wondered if Scott wanted to partner up.

At the same time, another meteorologist — Jason Bowman — wanted to merge his My Weather Concierge with WeatherOptics and Know Snow.

When the merger — and Henry’s partnership, starting next January — were announced, something even cooler (as in awesome, not temperature) happened. Top meteorologists like Tom Moore, Steve DiMartino and Larry Cosgrove jumped on board.

A screen shot from earlier this month.

Now — with what Scott calls “a team of incredibly elite meteorologists with a fast growing brand, and connections to clients and other meteorologists around the world” — his company is about to “disrupt the weather market. And change it for the better.”

In October, a WeatherOptics app will launch with new features.

Users can choose their own meteorologist. He’ll provide a daily synopsis on that day’s, and upcoming, weather — along with an instant chat option.

Soccer game that afternoon, and a 40% chance of rain? Shoot your meteorologist a message, asking what exactly that means.

Other widgets include personalized ski and beach outlooks.

There are also district-by-district snow forecasts of chances that school will be closed. A data scientist from Harvard is building an algorithm for that.

Snowfall predictions last winter, from WeatherOptics.

Those are just the consumer sides of the company. WeatherOptics will soon launch an enterprise solution platform to provide larger businesses — commodity traders, travel agents, transportation companies, etc. — with personalized forecasts.

Scott — who is transferring this fall to Syracuse University, where he’ll major in psychology and minor in entrepreneurship — foresees partnering with school districts, so they can send real-time information directly to students, parents and teachers.

“Our goal is to change the weather industry for the better,” he says.

“We want to push out accurate, interesting content to millions of people. We want to take personalization to the next level, and provide solutions to every sector of business that relies on weather to run their company.”

An example of a chat with a personal meteorologist.

Right now, Scott’s team includes 6 senior meteorologists and 4 developers (one of whom is 2016 Staples High classmate Nate Argosh). With 30,000 followers on social media, he predicts 5 million visitors this winter.

“06880” forecasts that number to grow substantially in the year ahead.

7 responses to “Scott Pecoriello Predicts WeatherOptics Will Disrupt Meteorology

  1. I wonder if Scott will use his considerable knowledge and prestige to mobilize the public to fight anthropogenic climate change. Having a President who regards it as a hoax is an embarrassment for this nation.
    ADW Staples 1956

  2. I never cease to be amazed at the brilliant students coming out of Staples.

  3. Brett Aronow

    This is so cool! (No pun intended)

  4. Wonderful young man from a great family! I love the passion Scott has. Keep up the good work – I expect to be getting my weather reports from you Scott. Lou Mall

  5. Dave Figueroa

    I believe had the chat feature first. And is patented.

  6. Mark Bachmann (@BachmannMark)

    One of my sons was at Staples High School at the same time as Scott, although we didn’t know him or his family. I can remember like a lot of parents being frustrated by the so-so job the school always did at implementing weather-related closures, sometimes canceling classes in response to flurries and other times failing to cancel in time to avoid hazardous travel conditions when real storms hit.

    I was astonished one day to learn that the administration had decided to stop relying on whatever professional weather services they used and instead to turn the forecasting job over to one of their own students. This would have been Scott, and things indeed seemed to get better afterwards. Congratulations to him for developing such a useful passion early in life and being able to build on it later. I feel a certain local pride in watching his career unfold.

  7. Carol Miller

    Well I was with you from the beginning I am a teacher and I love your story. And I am a weather nut too!! Go Scott. Youth is not wasted on the young here- carol miller