WeatherStrategy LLC

 Assisting Organizations In Becoming Weather Resilient By Making Weather & Climate Data Actionable

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Weather Hazard Planning - Drought

Posted on March 5, 2021 at 3:00 PM

Drought can have a significant impact on people, animals and agriculture. The lack of rain/precipitation can also cause temperatures to be above normal in most cases.

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Weather Hazard Analysis - Heatwaves

Posted on February 26, 2021 at 4:30 PM

Without adaptations like air conditioning, heatwaves can be very impactful to human health. Heatwaves can also impact the cost of energy and extended heatwaves can tax energy generation. The impact to agriculture (plants and animals) can be devastating.

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Weather Hazard Analysis - Synoptic - Cold Spell

Posted on February 19, 2021 at 3:30 PM

Cold spells with significantly below normal temperatures can impact many businesses and organizations. This overview discusses cold spells in general and their impact.

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Weather Hazard Analysis - Synoptic Scale

Posted on February 12, 2021 at 7:10 PM

Weather happens at many different scales. Cold fronts, high pressure systems, low pressure systems and warm fronts are examples of synoptic scale systems. What do you look out for regarding synoptic scale weather events?

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Weather Hazard Analysis - Types of Weather Hazards

Posted on February 3, 2021 at 2:15 PM

This is a brief overview of the different types of weather hazards that could affect your business or organization.

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Weather Hazard Analysis Tips

Posted on January 30, 2021 at 12:10 AM
Some weather hazard analysis tips for your business or organization are provided here for you to review: 




Do you have dry, cracked skin due to cold weather?

Posted on January 26, 2021 at 1:20 PM

 

If you live in an area where it can be very cold during the Winter, you might find yourself with dry, cracked skin on your hands especially if you do a lot of hand washing. The dry, cracked skin can end up bleeding and/or feeling sore. This is because the relative humidity in your house or building may be below 40%. While many people use cream and/or moisturizers you may want to also look at purchasing a humidifier.

 

The most comfortable relative humidity range is around 40% to 60%. In fact, keeping the relative humidity in this range will also help with your respiratory system and lower the threat from the flu and other ailments including allergies. Most businesses/office buildings handle (or should) this 40% to 60% range with their HVAC system. Most houses where Winter can be very cold, don’t.

 

So how does the relative humidity get below 40% in your house? Outside air will seep into your house through open doors, through seams in the windows and through other methods. The dry air (measured with dew points) outside can be very low (minus single digits to 20s Fahrenheit). Bring that dry air into a house with temperatures in the 60s or low 70s and you can end up with low relative humidity readings in the 20% to 40% range (or even lower). Relative humidity readings below 40% can exacerbate dry, cracked skin. While creams and moisturizers can help, utilizing a humidifier can help increase the relative humidity and make your skin less dry and thus less cracked. A humidifier can also reduce static electricity and slow the drying out of furniture and cabinets. Humidifiers can be found at many retailers this time of the year.


Does your business or organization need a "weather manager"?

Posted on January 18, 2021 at 5:55 PM

During the middle of April 2019, two weekend events showed the need for someone to be a “weather manager” especially when there are a number of people who can be impacted. We are defining “weather manager” as someone who has the responsibility to keep track of the weather and how it may impact an event, business or organization.

 


There were two events that weekend impacted by weather. One was the Master Tournament in Georgia and the other was a cultural festival in Northeast Texas.

 


Both ends of the weather impact spectrum (positive/negative) were experienced that weekend. On the positive side, The Masters Tournament proactively moved the Sunday part of the tournament ahead of expected severe weather. The PGA does have meteorologists on-site and the decisions made on Saturday worked best for all considering the threat of severe storms on Sunday afternoon in Augusta, Georgia.

 


Sadly, a cultural festival in Northeast Texas had a different outcome. The festival was impacted by two different storms and suffered a direct hit from a tornado. One person died and at least 25 people were injured. The threat was well communicated in advance by the National Weather Service and the media that severe weather was possible for the area at the time of the festival. It is unknown whether someone had the responsibility to watch the weather and whether contingency plans were defined ahead of time. The cultural festival did cancel one part of the event in advance based on the forecast so there was some level of weather awareness but one wonders if they did enough (especially on the day of the event).

 


Both cases show the need for at least someone to be the “weather manager”. In many cases, businesses, organizations or events need access at some level to a meteorologist. At the very least, someone needs to have the responsibility to be the “weather manager” to monitor the weather for safety reasons, expense control and for income opportunities.

 


WeatherStrategy LLC is available to provide guidance and training if you feel your organization needs a weather manager but you don't know where to start.

Scenarios from scenario planning are not forecasts.

Posted on December 23, 2019 at 10:45 AM

"The climate community got off track by forgetting the distinction between using scenarios as an exploratory tool for developing and evaluating policy options, and using scenarios as forecasts of where the world is headed." https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerpielke/2019/12/22/in-2020-climate-science-needs-to-hit-the-reset-button-part-one


Scenarios from scenario planning are not forecasts but can provide insight and identify many signposts that can be utilized for future decision making.

 

Note, there is no specific and exact way to do scenario planning. However, the IPCC scenarios may be more along the lines of scientific projections than scenario planning but it is hard to tell. The article does provide many useful scenario planning references, however.

 

Also, it is generally prudent to be wary of specific numbers for an event placed well into the future, especially when there is much uncertainty. Scenario planning is used to address this by helping an organization understand what is plausible and improve decision making.



What is your Weather Strategy?

Posted on April 29, 2019 at 8:30 AM

I taught a university-level strategic management course for over 5 years. The course used a very good textbook from Hill and Jones titled Essentials of Strategic Management (3rd Edition). One of the core concepts presented in the textbook is the explanation of the three different strategic levels of an organization (functional-level, business-level, corporate-level). Each level gets more “big-picture” as you go from functional-level to corporate-level. The functional-level book discussion presents what I considered an “aha” moment. At this level, organizations should develop strategies around what Hill and Jones consider the 4 building blocks of competitive advantage. The four building blocks are Superior Quality, Superior Efficiency, Superior Customer Responsiveness and Superior Innovation (Hill and Jones, 2009). Just look around, some of the best regarded companies these days focus on most, if not all, of the building blocks (whether they know it or not). Apple is certainly near the top of this list. Even from casual observation, one can understand that Apple appears to address each of the building blocks of Superior Quality, Superior Efficiency, Superior Customer Responsiveness and Superior Innovation. Another example organization is United Technologies (Hill and Jones, 2009). Even though United Technologies is a very diversified company (they make elevators and jet engines to name a few), these four building blocks seem to be their core competencies across all of their companies and appear fundamental to their success. For the most part, the four building blocks are nothing new. In fact, the four building blocks generally map to the Balance Scorecard (Hill and Jones did just this in the instructor notes). A major aspect of the Balanced Scorecard is its focus on developing (functional) strategies at all levels of an organization from a learning and growth perspective, business process perspective, customer perspective and the financial perspective (Kaplan and Norton, 1996).


In most cases, companies can help develop a competitive advantage by developing functional level strategies that address the four perspectives of Superior Quality, Superior Efficiency, Superior Customer Responsiveness and Superior Innovation.


The weather strategies that you develop for your company should also address these building blocks of competitive advantage.


With this in mind, let's see how an organization may be able to develop weather strategies in regards to the four building blocks: Superior Quality, Superior Efficiency, Superior Customer Responsiveness and Superior Innovation. Let's say your company is a natural foods supermarket chain. What weather strategies can you implement to help your business?


Let's start with quality. Quality can mean different things. As outlined in the Hill and Jones book, quality can be looked at from a point of view of reliability or as excellence. A reliable supply chain is important to many organizations and especially supermarkets. Weather and other natural events can affect the reliability of the supply chain. A weather strategy to address quality for a natural foods supermarket could be obtaining weather information for your source regions. A tactic for this strategy includes using recent climate information to determine active distressed areas. Another tactic may be using future forecasts to determine the potential problem growing areas so you can proactively second-source your products. It is also important to understand how weather elsewhere could affect your supply chain. One example is how the drought/flooding of a river like the Mississippi can impact deliveries 500 to 1000 miles away. The weather strategy of obtaining weather information (recent climate statistics and forecasts) could also be helpful in addressing excellence requirements. If droughts, floods, heatwaves, cold spells impact you products, this information can proactively assist in keeping the quality at a high level.


The next building block area is developing strategies that work towards the goal of superior efficiency. Hill and Jones address efficiency from many different perspectives: R&D and efficiency, production and efficiency, marketing and efficiency, materials management and efficiency, information systems and efficiency, infrastructure efficiency and human resource strategy and efficiency. On the surface, many of these perspectives match up to weather strategies and some probably not so much. For our sample natural foods supermarket there are many opportunities. Some weather-related strategies to assist in the goal of superior efficiency include utilizing weather information to help plan energy and also to assisted with marketing efforts. By incorporating long-range weather forecasts the natural foods supermarket can be more efficient with its energy usage and also be more efficient marketing products at the correct time they are needed in the future. For instance, if you know a heatwave is possible 6 weeks from now, your marketing or pricing strategy can take advantage of that information and if used correctly, increase profitability. There are new leading edge innovations that make this possible.


The next building block is customer responsiveness, A natural foods supermarket can determine weather strategies that make it more responsive to a clients needs. At the very basic level, this includes staffing the store for expected customer traffic based on weather and day of the week. Certain events can alter customer purchasing habits. One way to utilize forecast data is to make stock adjustments based on weather information. At the same time a company needs to realize some products are more weather sensitive than others and make plans accordingly.


The last building block is innovation. Our natural foods supermarket example may look at new innovative ways to incorporate weather information into their business. For instance, long range weather forecasts can be correlated to inventory and, if done right, this helps with customer responsiveness, helps assure the inventory is available and because of the integration may increase quality.


New weather-related opportunities are presenting themselves as big-data, predictive analytics, and integration of data occur. Many of these new ideas and technologies are available now. One of the focuses of WeatherStrategy is assisting organizations in developing strategies to incorporate weather data/information into their products for differentiation and to capitalize on weather related opportunities.


www.weatherstrategy.net


Hill, C. W. L., & Jones, G. W. (2009). Essentials of Strategic Management (3rd ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.


Kaplan, R. S. & Norton, D. P. (January-February 1996). “Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System”, Harvard Business Review Retrieved from http:/balancedscorecard.org/Resources/AbouttheBalancedScorecard/tabid/55/Default.aspx


Kaplan, R. S. & Norton, D. P. (January-February 1996). “Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System”, Harvard BusinessReview Retrieved from http:/balancedscorecard.org/Resources/AbouttheBalancedScorecard/tabid/55/Default.aspx