News flash: It's really cold outside!
Unless you have been living in a cave (that is, with no Wi-Fi), you have no doubt been inundated with polar vortex information in the past few days.
We don't just talk about the weather anymore, though. It's a big business, estimated to be a $2 billion to $3 billion industry comprising everything from The Weather Channel to 7,000-plus weather-related apps you can download from the Apple Store. Tech giant Google recently bought a patent for a function to serve ads based on weather conditions.
The business of weather isn't just about predictions, either. Increasingly, companies are analyzing trends to understand economic effects.
Paul Walsh, vice president of weather analytics at The Weather Channel, described such analyses as a data play that, for example, retailers can use "to understand how the weather is influencing their shoppers from a product category perspective."
(Read more: Bill Nye on polar vortex: Weather of the future?)