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iLMeteo – Made in Italy

Made in Italy weather forecasting (with a bit of help from Serbia)

Thirty million unique users per month for the portal, the most downloaded app in Italy: Antonio Sanò, an engineer with a passion for atmospheric physics and mathematical forecasting calculations, has turned his passions into a business and a success.

reading time4 minutes

A passion that becomes a company, a company that becomes a national success. This is the story of, a weather forecasting portal founded in Padua in 2000 by Antonio Sanò, an engineer passionate about atmospheric physics and mathematical forecasting calculations.

In the beginning, there was a hundred thousand lira budget to register the trademark and a 56K modem.

But the idea of founding a portal for short-, medium- and long-term forecasts divided into 50 km micro-areas is a good one, and the site’s interface, easy to browse and divided into time slots, soon brought about its success.

A Made in Italy success with a ‘little help’ from Serbia. In fact, Sanò began his adventure by learning about a specific school of meteorology in Belgrade that combines atmospheric physics, mathematics and programming: ‘I couldn’t find any mathematician or programmer who could help me out until I met Ivan Ristic in 2003, and from there, remotely, our collaboration began. That was the birth of as we know it today.’ Sanò tells

Figures and trivia

Today, the portal’s numbers are impressive: 30 million unique monthly users and an annual turnover of 5 million euros. The app is now the most downloaded in Italy, with 10 million Android users connected and 4 million iOS users. Over time, newspaper subscriptions also grew, and most profits were reinvested in communication, research, and development. Among the reasons that have caused its popularity, it should be noted that is the only one in Italy that gives proper names – often related to mythology – to storms, snowfalls or even to more or less warm anticyclones. Who does not remember Cerberus, Scipio or Charon? These names are not officially recognised, although the founder believes – as he told La Repubblica – that they can help improve people’s awareness of weather and climate phenomena.

Putting mathematics to work for weather forecasting

Over the years, and not without some bureaucratic difficulties, the portal has developed a proprietary physical-mathematical model that, using data from ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts), calculates all the parameters required to process weather forecasts several times a day. In particular, the company uses two systems, Zeus 2016 HD for short- and medium-term forecasts and Ensemble for long-term ones.

Like the most advanced centres, ilMeteo relies heavily on ‘multi-model ensemble’ forecasts, using several mathematical models and comparing them so that the user becomes accustomed to evaluating the most reliable ones even more independently.

A dedicated team

The site has a staff of about 20 people, including meteorologists, physicists, engineers and communication experts; it also collaborates with international scientists. At the helm of the company from 2019 is Emanuele Colli, Managing Director.

Congratulations to those who bring Made in Italy weather forecasting to the world!

Read the stories of other leading Italian companies in the world of science and technology.