May 28, 2015
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TRENTON, Maine —A company founded in Maine has made a name for itself by making some of the finest weather equipment in the world.
RainWise started 41 years ago when one man created a simple tipping-bucket rain gauge. Today, the company is a worldwide producer of sophisticated home weather stations.
"It seems like the awareness of home weather has increased with global warming and all these nasty storms we have worldwide, tsunamis, whatnot. There just seems to be more of an individual interest," RainWise executive vice president Lonnie White said.
The Trenton company has recently seen a shift in its customer base to include a broader array of industries.
"Our customers are much more businesses. It can be farmers. It can be utilities, science research, things like that," CEO Carsten Steenberg said.
Among the company's latest advances is providing a direct link between the weather stations and computer software, which allows users to record, process and disseminate data globally.
"We are excited to say that we have never seen this many opportunities in the near or the long term. (We've) never had this kind of ambitious product (or) new product development," Steenberg said.
RainWise has teamed with the Maine Forest Service to help more accurately predict fire danger.
"We've been providing sensor hardware to them for a number of years, but what this project has allowed us to do is to go into the guts of the calculations that actually determine where that Smokey Bear fire danger level goes and automates all of it," said global sales director Alex Birdsall.
Birdsall is convinced that as the world keeps a much closer eye on the weather, the business will continue to grow.
"We're not seeing the weather get any less weird," Birdsall said.