Weather Forecasting: Is it All About the Money?

Posted on: December 7th, 2016 by Tom Girolamo No Comments
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An aster blooming on December 2, 2016 in central Wisconsin.

AccuWeather’s Advertising Sales team is based out of Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan. This is not a low-rent district and a testament to how much money changes hands in the weather forecasting business. Not only are there private and government weather forecasters, but there are also companies such as, ForecastWatch, that sell services related to tracking accuracies of the forecasters.

Weather forecasting is big business because even small changes in temperature, for instance, can have dramatic financial effects on businesses, government operations and individuals. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal, Cloudy with a Chance of Swimsuit Sales, illustrates how fashion designers and clothing retailers were blindsided by the warm fall and early winter weather this year. The result; cold weather apparel didn’t sell well.

People ask me all the time for long-term weather predictions. Usually they will ask; “Is it going to be a dry summer?” or “Will it be a cold winter?”. Part of my job is identifying weather trends to help me  position my services and schedule customers for optimal results. The office phone starts ringing or the emails pour in with the first warm day in late winter from potential customers. However, long before that, my work schedule was created to take advantage of the weather averages and to benefit by anticipating day-to-day, atypical weather during the current weather trend.

In sustainable property design, instead of trying to design around weather reports, we design for the extreme. It has become obvious that weather seems to be more erratic. By incorporating features in the landscape that takes advantage of and actually produces benefits from what ever the weather brings, you can be more in control of the outcome. Here is one of my past articles about using excess precipitation.

So if you want 100% accuracy in weather; look out the window, put your coat and mittens on (or swimsuit) and let’s go out and play!

 

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