Courtesy Weather Underground
In trying to keep up with the news on Hurricane Ike, which is supposed to make landfall today on the Texas Gulf Coast, I was browsing the Houston Chronicle website and came across this oddity. The up-to-date hurricane tracking data they use is from a company named Weather Underground, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They also provide weather news to The Associated Press and other media organizations.
Of course, most people associate the name "Weather Underground" with the radical left group founded in 1969. What gives?
In an email the company co-founder, Jeff Masters, had this to say about the company name:
Hi, the company that became The Weather Underground grew out of an educational weather project with the same name that began in the early 1990s. Since the educational weather project and the original radical group The Weather Underground both got their start at the University of Michigan, the professor that supervised the educational project—Perry Samson—thought it would be an amusing tongue-in-cheek name for our small weather project. When the project became an amazingly successful one, and was spun off into a business, the name Weather Underground was kept.