Weather events often have significant economic repercussions. Consumer behavior as well as supply and demand for a product or raw material can be affected. Energy demand soars during heatwaves; insurance claims rise after hailstorms; snow slows in-store shopping but can increase online sales; and grain prices spike during drought.
There’s a growing demand for analysis of weather and climate data to provide insight into how these events and fluctuations affect the U.S. economy. A variety of third-party services are using NCEI’s data to meet the practical needs of companies and their customers. These vendors, also known as weather service providers or decision support providers, tailor applications to weather-related questions based on a wide range of needs.
By combining NCEI data with business-specific information, third-party weather vendors are reducing the guesswork of potential market changes. Many businesses use third-party services on a regular basis to study consumer behavior, logistics, weather patterns, and much more. Economic sectors include energy producers, retailers, seasonal maintenance crews, transportation, law firms, and insurance companies.
The Success Stories on User Engagement report for March 2018 illustrates important uses of data by leading third-party service providers. Many companies are adapting their business models based on weather volatility. Weather alone can cause the gross domestic product (GDP) to fluctuate 3 to 6 percent a year, or as much as $1.3 trillion, based on a National Weather Service analysis.
NCEI manages a wide range of environmental data that weather service providers use in product and service development. Weather service providers apply NCEI’s data in many ways. Providers such as The Weather Company, WeatherBELL Analytics, Baron, and AccuWeather, use NCEI’s data to provide the following services:
- Energy traders develop consumer-demand forecasts when weather is expected to affect a region
- Insurance companies apply forensic analysis to weather-related accidents and claims
- Transportation providers determine where to build facilities so fog, snow, or other weather factors pose fewer challenges to logistics
- Retailers analyze how seasonal patterns can affect merchandising and operations