Grand Sky launches most accurate weather device in the nation

Produced by Swiss based Meteomatics, the meteodrone is dubbed the most high-tech weather forecasting system in the country.

Produced by Swiss-based Meteomatics, the meteodrone is dubbed the most high-tech weather forecasting system in the country.
Matt Henson / WDAY News

EMERADO, N.D. — The Grand Forks area has a new weather forecaster, and it's said to be the most accurate weather device in the country.

Dozens watched the inaugural U.S. launch of the meteodrone Tuesday, May 23.

"This isn't like the kind of weather you would get on your app, this is very, very, high-quality data," said Paul Walsh, CEO of Meteomatics North America division.

Produced by Swiss-based Meteomatics, it's dubbed the most high-tech weather forecasting system in the country.

The meteodrone flies up to just under 17,000 feet. It will provide updated weather data every hour 16 times a day, narrowing it down to about half a mile.


"(The drone) collect(s) all kinds of weather data about known icing conditions, winds aloft, temperature, barometer, (and) humidity," said Grand Sky President Tom Swoyer.

It's considered a game changer for the Grand Forks Air Force Base and Grand Sky, which said 30% of scheduled unmanned flights from the business park are canceled due to predicted weather conditions.

"Those are (lost) revenue hours for our tenants and partners. And because a weather report says, 'Oh, it's just going to be super windy all day.' Well the wind is not going to really start until noon, so if I can fly from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m., I picked up three hours of flight time that I might not have had otherwise," Sowyer said.

TruWeather Solutions will provide the information to anyone, including the public, free of charge.

"The ability for construction companies to be able to determine if winds will be too high to use cranes, for emergency services or the county government to be able to determine when is it best to start plowing roads after a snowstorm," Swoyer said.

Having this more accurate weather data is expected to bring more businesses to Grand Sky and potentially expand the mission of the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

"There is no question that we will continue to expand our mission base here. We're already on that curve. I've already talked to a number of folks today where they work with other companies that are going to want to come here as well," said North Dakota U.S. Sen. John Hoeven.

To sign up for the data visit .

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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