Snow and Ice managers can greatly help out their operation by knowing what Mother Nature is most likely to do. An accurate and detailed weather forecast makes a huge difference in helping you keep slippery risks off your roads, lots and sidewalks.
Unfortunately, you can only get a truly accurate forecast by getting a custom forecast. Weather Apps and Regional News Forecasts don’t tell you what is going to happen with adequate precision. SIMA and the Accredited Snow Contractor Association (ASCA) strongly recommend snow contractors have a professional weather service. While it’s not a huge industry, there are many to choose from.
You have unique needs when it comes to your operation and integrating weather information. The “right fit” with a service provider is important. The best fit for a large contractor that covers several states is going to be different than a small local snow fighter.
Whether you are looking for specific forecast information or need post-storm snowfall reports to help avoid billing disputes and possible liability then there are many different options out there.
Below are many of the weather forecast and consulting services geared towards winter clients.
Your Weather Service Options
Customized solutions specific to your coverage area and impacts to your operation. We honestly really like these folks because they are the team we choose to use most often. This Ohio-based company has seen all types of winter weather, including being very experienced in lake effect snow.
Neoweather is smaller, but adds the personalized human touch to forecasts. They provide a weekly forecast overview, detailed Forecast Breakdowns a day before the storm hits with a mix of charts, maps and text. What surprises us is how they can keep that personalized service despite such a large client list throughout the country.
This New Jersey based company has been around for decades. They are most well known for their Certified Snow Totals. This product is accessible through an online dashboard with storm information and snow reports from the previous event. You can do advanced searches by date, season, location, accumulation amount and precipitation type.
“Winter Storm Alerts”are detailed forecast documents on coming storms. You can receive calls to alert you when snow is going to arrive. Weatherworks has a large forecasting base in the Northeast and New England with some markets into the Midwest.
Easy and quick forecasts are the name of the game. It’s all about texting and a simple approach. You’ll receive images of computer model snow maps with expected pavement conditions, snow ratios and salt/plow decisions. Consulting questions can be answered within a couple hours. If you like weather model discussion to see what the latest trends are, this might be a good option. Meteorologist Rob Guarino and team also provide snowfall verification.
This Indiana area team is best known for long range forecasting and serving clients in Agriculture and Energy, but they are no stranger to snow and ice. BAM is growing fast and gaining a happy client base for many of their services. They specialize in regional forecasts and detailed videos analyses of the weather to come. Regional snow contractors and property management companies might find the most value here, especially if you are based in the Plains, Midwest or Ohio Valley.
If business longevity is a top priority for you then this one should stand out. Murray and Trettel have been around since 1946! Who even knew weather forecasting was a thing back then haha. They have had decades to adjust their offering to Chicago, Midwest and other regions across the country. They work with many industries including snow removal. You’ll receive color coded forecast documents with multiple temperature and precipitation ranges plus percentages of operational hazards. These are sent 2-4 hours before a storm.
This is more of a one size fits all service. You log into an online dashboard to see radar, current observations and forecast data. They service multiple industries and things are not heavily customized. Their app display is fancy and some of the look and feel of your favorite phone weather app. If you like software, algorithms and lots of flashy data then you can certainly benefit from their platform.
Another company with 50 years of offering private weather forecasting. They dabble in weather operations with many different industries and certainly don’t specialize in snow and ice. BUT Precision does offer copious experience at mitigating winter weather risk (in education and ski industries especially). Detailed weather advice is provided via phone calls and emails. Outlooks for a couple weeks ahead or the next season is also available.
Are you large regional company, Department of Transportation or highway department? This dashboard based weather provider might be great for you. DTN doesn’t gear their forecasts for the average snow contractor, but if you have some extra $$$ they would work. Their mobile and web portal has many proprietary data sections on weather impacts to roads, plus RWIS data.
There are certainly more regional and local one’s out there that might be the right fit. Do a little research online to see if there are any specific to your area. Weather in any one city, town or village is often influenced by small-scale weather patterns that local meteorologists might pick out better. Though, it certainly does not mean closer is always best.
Now is the time to purchase a weather service. Increase your own efficiency while making for a safer environment with weather information tailored to your needs. Find the right fit and get prepared.