Solve problems by leveraging the World’s most advanced Mesonet (Mesonet = mesoscale network. The NYS Mesonet World’s is the World’s most advanced Mesonet and is comprised of 126 stat-of-the-art weather stations.  Each station is equipped with the best weather instruments, and collect and reports real-time weather data from all 126 stations every 5 min. The weather causes significant problems for the United States economy.  Approximately $500 Billion is lost every year due to typical fluctuations in rain, temperature, etc. Although the weather causes significant problems for businesses, many businesses are unaware unable to solve those problems because (a) they do not understand how weather causes problems, (b) they have trouble integrating weather into business operations, and (c) many businesses require narrowly tailored solutions.  The Weather Hack provides participants an opportunity to solve some of New York States most challenging weather-related business problems by leveraging the worlds most advanced Mesonet.  Participants may be presented with weather-related challenges, and tasked to develop solutions for businesses in industries, including transportation/logistics, agriculture, healthcare, drones/UAS. 


COVEY CHALLENGE: Using the NYS Mesonet data provided, create an Alexa skill and recommendation engine on what to wear for the day, based on the forecast.

TruWeather Solutions Challenge: Using the NYS Mesonet data and NWS radar data, create an application for the Unmanned Aerial Systems and Ground Transportation industry that:

  • Visually depict areas of precipitation and precipitation type actually hitting the ground in real time (updating every time new data is available);
  • Using ground based Mesonet data and other ground based data sets, create a short-range “NOWCAST” (0-3 hours) depicting areas where precipitation will hit the ground.

NYSTEC: Using archived Mesonet Early Warning Weather Detection System data set, how does weather affect New York City’s Emergency Medical Services dispatch? What implications do your findings have on NYC’s emergency management services’ mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery efforts?

Climacell (1): Using NYS Mesonet precipitation data produce a model to convert radar dBz to precipitation rate specifically tuned for NYS.  Compare against traditional if statement logic applied operationally to measure performance gain.

Climacell (2): Create a local climatology of percentile values or record values based on seasonality, time of day, etc for each value.  Update the climatology and create alerts based on real time data, send alerts based on location and nearest stations or stations within some distance.  


Jason Anderson, Lead Forecaster/Project Manager, TruWeather Solutions 

Don Berchoff, Chief Executive Officer at TruWeather Solutions and Chief Technology Officer at Tempoquest

Christopher Mandry, Business Development Manager, CoveyCS

Alan Brammer, Atmospheric Data Scientist, ClimaCell, Inc. 

Jay Rourke, Chief Information Officer at State University Construction Fund

Stephen Hartmann, Advisor, Excel Securities & Associates, Inc. 

June Wang, Research Associate Professor, Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences, University at Albany

Nathan Bain, Senior Software Engineer, New York State Mesonet

Stefan Buechele, Observation Center Monitor, New York State Mesonet

Karl Hekmer, Research Support Specialist, Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences, University at Albany


Jerald Brotzge, Program Manager, New York State Mesone, Dr. Jerald A. Brotzge serves as the program manager for New York State Mesonet. His work encompasses the field of surface instrumentation, radar and storm-scale meteorology. Brotzge is responsible for the deployment, operations, and sustainability of the NYS Mesonet.

The network will consist of a system of 125 interconnected surface weather stations deployed throughout New York designed to observe, record, and disseminate weather data, with as many as 17 super sites equipped with profiler technology to gather above-ground meteorological observations to support more accurate forecasting. NYS Mesonet is being designed to provide the high resolution data needed to support monitoring and predictive modeling of mesocale weather events (intermediate size meteorological phenomenon, usually less than 50 miles in horizontal range) and emerging weather-related risks, including rainfall and floods, heavy snow and ice, and high winds.

Brotzge previously served as managing director and senior scientist for the Center for the Analysis and Prediction of Storms (CAPS) at the University of Oklahoma, and as a senior research scientist and director of NetRad Operations for CASA (Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere). He has taken part on various research projects with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Brotzge earned his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in meteorology with a minor in math at St. Louis University in 1994. He then went on to earn his Master of Science (M.S.) in 1997 and his Ph.D. in 2000, both at the University of Oklahoma. His research focus as a student involved boundary-layer and land-surface instrumentation, climatology, and meteorological statistics.

Tony Praino, Chief Engineer/Meteorologist - Environmental Monitoring & Management at IBM Research Anthony Praino is a founding member of Deep Thunder and the chief engineer and chief meteorologist in the weather group on the Smarter Energy and Environmental Science, Industry Solutions team. Anthony joined IBM Research in 1983 and has over three decades of experience related to research and development, engineering, meteorology, systems development, high performance computing, environmental modeling and instrumentation, hardware and software design for measurement, control and analysis. With backgrounds and experience in meteorology, electrical and computer engineering his focus since 2000 has been on combining a deep understanding of environmentally sensitive business operations with modeling, analytics and information technology to create unique applications and customer solutions in various market sectors.

Campbell Watson, a Research Staff Member at IBM Research in Yorktown. He is part of an interdisciplinary team that is developing an experimental modeling platform for The Jefferson Project at Lake George. The platform enables the very high-resolution coupled-simulation of air, land and water processes. The Jefferson Project was awarded the 2017 IBM Chairman's Environmental Award by Ginny Rommety and an Outstanding Technical Achievement Award in 2016.

In 2017, Campbell was a Fellow of Science Sandbox @ New Lab, received a National Science Foundation grant with collaborators from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to study the effects of climate change on freshwater lakes in North America, produced and directed a short film for the Imagine Science Film Festival in New York, and wrote an article for Vice: Motherboard about surfing an artificial wave in the heart of Texas. In 2018, he has been producing and performing in a series of multimedia shows using weather data with artist Lee Tusman.

Campbell studied atmospheric mesoscale dynamics in Australia at The University of Melbourne and moved to the US in 2012 for a post-doctoral position at Yale University.

Mark PoskanzerDirector of Sales & Marketing, Troy Web Consulting, worked in the IT field for 14 years before co-founding Troy Web Consulting in 2002.  Troy Web Consulting’s services have provided him an opportunity to work with a wide range of clients including startups as well as established multi-million dollar companies.  His broad experience has helped him support all aspects of software development and many aspects of business including finance, sales, marketing and strategic planning.

Mark has always supported the aspirations of people to gain business acumen.  He is an active board member with Junior Achievement of Northeastern New York teaching several courses including the JA Be Entrepreneurial program; a member of the NYS High School Business Model Competition Committee; and, a member of the coaching team for Startup Tech Valley, a monthly meeting for entrepreneurs sponsored by RPIs Severino Center. Mark has also taught marketing as an adjunct at the University at Albany School of Business.

Mark holds an MBA in finance and computer information systems from the University of Rochester Simon School Of Business.

Lawrence C. Gloeckler III, MS, Customer Success Scientist, Riskpulse. Lawrence "Larry" Gloeckler is a second year graduate student in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (DAES) at SUNY Albany. A native of Albany, NY, I was bitten by the "weather bug" at the age of four, following the blizzard of March 1993. My interest in weather led me to enter DAES as an undergraduate in 2007. During my four years as an undergraduate, I studied under some of the world's leading researchers in the field of atmospheric science, and seized the opportunity to participate in some faculty–led research. Some details of this research are presented on my research page.

I remained in the department as a graduate student after completing my undergraduate degree in May 2011. My Master's thesis work has focused on assessing the relationships between the extratropical circulation and large-scale organized tropical convection. More recently, my graduate research has created opportunities for me to reach out to private sector companies in order to help develop and improve forecast products by leveraging the associations between tropical convection on sub seasonal and intrapersonal time scales, and the extratropical circulation.

Outside of school, I enjoy traveling and immersing myself in different cultures. I've lived in Albany, NY, Chicago, IL, and Osaka, Japan, and I've visited over 30 U.S. states, parts of Canada, and much of Europe. Closer to home, I enjoy swimming, biking, hiking, and running. I am also an aviation enthusiast and an avid gardener.


 Weather Hack Schedule 

University at Albany - Massry Center for Business - Standish Living Room

Friday, November 9 - 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. 

5:30 p.m. - Registration, Dinner & Networking

6:30 p.m. - Welcome & Challenge Presentation

  • James A. Dias, Vice President for Research at UAlbany
  • Jerald Brotzge, Program Manager NYS Mesonet
  • COOL: NYS Mesonet App Video 
  • Bob Manasier, Entrepreneur in Residence, UAlbany 

7:15 p.m. - Team Formations 

8:00 p.m. – Team Meetings/Start hacking

10:00 p.m. - Doors Close

Saturday November 10th 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

8:00 a.m. – Doors Open & Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – Welcome and Logistics 

9:10 a.m.  -  Team Meetings/Start hacking

12:00 p.m. - Lunch

2:00 p.m. - First Check-In

2:30 p.m. - Mentor Meetings

5:00 p.m. - Second Check-In

5:30 p.m. - Dinner

10:00 p.m. - Doors Close

Sunday November 11th 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

8:00 a.m. - Doors Open & Breakfast

11:00 a.m. - Mentor Meetings

12:00 p.m. - Lunch

1:00 p.m. - Last Check-In & Pitch Mentoring

2:00 p.m. – End hacking

2:30 p.m. - Team Presentations

4:30 p.m. - Judging & Awards

5:00 p.m. - Event Ends 


We welcome everybody to participate in the 2018 Weather Hack :)  Designers, developers, marketers, entrepreneurs, project managers,as long as you have a passion for disrupting the workplace!

- Minimum age of 18 years.


Project submissions will take place offline on the last day of the event, November 11th. 

Hackathon Sponsors


Grand Prize

Grand Prize

$500 gift card
Startup Grind Albany "Closed Set" Interview package.
This package includes:
Executive Tier Interview including Photo Opportunity ($1,000 Value)
Written Article ($750 Value)
1VIP Private Access Ticket to a future Startup Grind Albany Event [including 15 minutes private access to Guest Speaker] ($150 Value)

Second Place Prize

2nd Place Prize - $375 gift card

3rd Place Prize

3rd Place Prize - $250 gift card

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

Register for the Weather Hack via eventbrite. Register by Friday November 9th at 5:00pm. RSVP Here


Tony Praino

Tony Praino

Campbell Watson

Campbell Watson

Jacob McDonald

Jacob McDonald

Jerry Brotzge

Jerry Brotzge
NYS Mesonet

Mark Poskanzer

Mark Poskanzer
Troy Web Consulting

Judging Criteria

  • Judging Criteria
    Judging Criteria (50 pts) 1. Creativity / Innovative (10 pts) 2. Impactful / Usefulness (10pts) 3. Fits theme/any other criteria outlined by the organizers (10pts) 4. Wow Factor (10pts) 5. Pitch (10pts)

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

Tell your friends

Hackathon sponsors

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.