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Climate Adaptation

Weather Prediction Startups Grow as More Volatile Storms Loom

Fearful local officials are hiring companies touting forecasts down to the minute and the city block. But not everyone is convinced.

A sanitation truck drives through a flooded street in Hoboken the morning after remnants of Hurricane Ida drenched the New York City and New Jersey area in 2021.

A sanitation truck drives through a flooded street in Hoboken the morning after remnants of Hurricane Ida drenched the New York City and New Jersey area in 2021.

Photographer: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

In late August and early September of last year, Hurricane Ida tore across the U.S., leaving a trail of destruction. The ferocious storm was at its most ruthless when it landed, and again as it headed back out to sea. The Louisiana coastline and the New York metropolitan area were among the hardest hit.

Hoboken, New Jersey—sitting just across the Hudson River from Manhattan—saw 70% of its streets underwater. Mayor Ravi Bhalla called the maelstrom a “manmade disaster” that was turbocharged by global warming. Ida had been the second monster storm to swamp his city in barely a week, and the fourth in only a year.