While useful in determining where the bad weather is by finding the low pressure, atmospheric scientists at the University of Washington want to use those sensors to develop some short term forecasts.
This past week there was around 4,000 observations taken per hour, mainly on the East coast and in major cities. On a blog post by UW Professor Cliff Mass (who I studied with), he said for this to have a real impact, the amount of observations needs to increase by 100 times.
The hope is that if the software catches on and is used by a large number of users, forecasters with universities and the National Weather Service (one group funding the research) will be able to create more accurate short-range forecasts.
There is one problem with the software, and that is only available on the Android market. That's because a handful of phones, namely the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, and Nexus 4 smartphones, have the barometer on the phones. If Apple added the technology in their next version of the iPhone or iPad, Cumulonimbus could make the app for those phones and increase the amount of information being returned to UW researchers.