Predicting the Weather

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June 17, 2013

Weather_WebRemember the old saying, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it"? Dealing with Mother Nature can be a pain, but what are you going to do? Nobody has figured out how to control the weather yet, but there are new services that help you plan around the weather with a more accurate and personalized forecast.

If you can deal with a forecast of "30% chance of rain" the day of your event, great! But if you need more specific details such as times of rainfall, exact temperatures, a forecast pinpointed to your exact event location, more lead time, and a personal meteorologist, none of these standard weather sources will help you make critical decisions for your event. What you might need is a private weather service!

A private weather service can work for you and your event without using generalized forecasts covering large geographical areas. Private forecasts pinpoint your exact location and offer detailed forecasts hour-by-hour and updated as needed. And if you have questions or concerns, you can have your own meteorologist available 24/7. All of this means you have a forecast that is not only more accurate, but more dependable and more useful for you and your event planning process.

So how can the forecast be that much more accurate? Private forecasters, besides knowing the exact location and topography for your event, know your primary concerns, which allows them to be on the lookout for specified weather elements for you. They also spend a great deal of time on just your event forecast. They don't have to worry about forecasting for 15 zones covering 10,000 square miles. That pinpoint analysis and forecasting accounts for greater accuracy and more detail, and a forecast that helps you plan with and around the weather and allows your event to run smoothly.

More precise and detailed forecasting like this can be used to help you manage details of your event. If you knew a week or more in advance that it would be unseasonably chilly for your event, you might cut back on ice cream and increase your supply of warmer foods and drinks. On the other hand, if you knew it would be unseasonably hot and humid, you could increase cold drinks, ice cream and fans. If you knew it would be wet for much of your event, you might order a tent and move some of the festivities inside.

Hillary Harris, Director of Special Events for Warner Brothers in Los Angeles, had a trying experience with the weather two years ago during an outdoor event with tens of thousands of dollars on the line where rain was in the forecast. The last thing Hillary or the client wanted to do was cancel the event, so instead they called a private service to get more precise weather forecasting. Hillary, who recalls this experience in her blog Hill on Hollywood, used a private forecasting service to gain detailed information for the day of the event.

"Of course, in Los Angeles, where I do 70 percent of events outside, I'm thankful there isn't much rain. But when it does appear on the horizon, I'm thankful for [private weather forecasting]. When rain threatened an outdoor event designed with micro-suede furnishings, I did what any event producer would do - get a direct line to the head meteorologist in the sky. No, not Mother Nature! I'm talking about a special group of elite and very in-the-know meteorologists. They assured me that based on their calculation the rain would stop four hours before my event and stay away through it. And you know what? They were absolutely correct!"

Now keep in mind, weather forecasting is an inexact science. It is one of the few jobs that involve predicting the future, so there is bound to be a time when something changes and that is where updates are helpful. But all we have to do is think about the past few years and you can decide for yourself how accurate that information has been and whether or not a private forecast is the right thing for your outdoor event.

by Wayne G.Mahar
President of Precision Weather Service, Syracuse, NY, the leader in specialized weather services for all types of events.

eNews June 2013

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