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  • JAMES KING, MPA

Experts: Risk Of Severe Summer Weather Impacting Businesses


The summer of 2024 is shaping up to be particularly challenging for businesses, with weather risk experts warning of severe impacts due to extreme heat, wildfires, and an active hurricane season. Paul Walsh, managing director at G2 Weather Intelligence, highlighted the heightened risks during an interview with FOX Weather, calling this summer’s forecast “as risky as I’ve ever seen.”


Walsh expressed particular concern about the forecasted extreme heat and its potential health impacts. As meteorological summer begins, California and the Southwest are already seeing extreme heat advisories, with temperatures expected to soar into the triple digits. “The forecast for the summer is as risky as I’ve ever seen,” Walsh emphasized.


Adding to the concerns, NOAA has issued an aggressive hurricane season forecast, predicting between 17 and 25 named storms for 2024. The combined threats of extreme heat, wildfires, and a busy hurricane season could create significant challenges for the economy. “When you combine all those things, the impacts from both the health effects of the heat waves that we’re seeing, the bad air quality on the back and the potential of wildfires that we’re seeing later this summer, and, of course, the hurricane forecast and the expectation that we could be seeing a record, at least in terms of the number of storms, hurricane season this year – all of it combined to paint a pretty scary summer season as it relates to weather risk,” Walsh explained.


Businesses across various sectors are increasingly turning to weather data and analytics to mitigate these risks. Industries such as energy, agriculture, and insurance have long used weather analytics, but now more companies, including retail and consumer goods, are adopting these tools to prepare for severe weather. Walsh pointed out that predictive technology and artificial intelligence are becoming essential in helping businesses anticipate and respond to weather events.


For instance, Walmart has utilized predictive technology for 20 years to stock up on items like strawberry Pop-Tarts ahead of hurricanes, ensuring they are well-prepared for increased demand during weather events. “We’re getting better at being able to be prepared for these kinds of high-impact events,” Walsh said, referring to the concept of “digital resilience.”


As the summer progresses, the ability of businesses to use advanced technology to anticipate and mitigate weather-related disruptions will be crucial. The focus on preparedness and proactive response strategies will play a significant role in maintaining economic stability and minimizing the impacts of severe weather.

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