So you're about ready to apply chemicals to protect against pests and disease. Then comes the question every manager must answer in order to proceed: What is the weather forecast going to be? That single question is a big one, and it will save you time, manpower and money to think about it sooner rather than later. Considering the fact that many costly chemical applications need rain-free hours to take effect, knowing the right conditions necessary to spray, when to reschedule, and when the chance for disease is greatest will make your job much easier. There is also the budget factor to think about as you risk wasting company money as a result of poor planning. The great news is the there is an easy way to manage these critical decisions. Modern day weather services are designed to assist you in making operational decisions about chemical applications, crew scheduling and overall grounds maintenance. These tools can also be used for managing big events, expectations, creating work assignments and serving as a business safeguard. Being proactive rather than reactive is the key to success when making weather-related business decisions.

Oscar Miles, a golf course superintendent for The Merit Club, an exclusive 18-hole private golf club in Gurnee, Ill., can attest to this fact. By using weather visualization tool, he can quickly determine accurate, site specific and highly localized, real-time weather information, simply by turning on his PC. Miles checks the weather forecast first thing each day when he arrives at work and from there he can easily prepare for daily golf operations and course maintenance. Analyzing the day's weather for both current conditions and a forecast outlook lets him inform his staff on when to take their rain suits, determine what wind speeds are suitable for safe chemical spraying and how much time crew members have to get work done before storms arrive.

These weather forecasts are easy to interpret and readily available through mobile alerting capabilities that can be set up to notify multiple users about specific weather conditions anywhere their job takes them. Real-time weather information and storm alerts can be customized to your business location and sent out via your cell phone, pager or e-mail to ensure that you are aware of any inclement weather that is heading your way. The end result is real-time weather information that provides both advance warning as well as adequate preparation time for severe weather events. Accurate weather information helps to minimize business risks and maximize resources. It allows business operations to run smoothly and efficiently with a proactive approach.

A state-of-the-art weather system lets grounds managers set up custom advisories. For example, precise precipitation monitoring tools automatically monitor radar data for lightning conditions and the exact start and stop times of precipitation — being specific enough to provide the precise amount of accumulation. Alarms can be set to notify when there is light, moderate or heavy precipitation, which allows for advance warning of anticipated conditions and assists in planning for proactive action. An alert can also be set up to notify you when the National Weather Service issues a watch, alert or advisory for your area. By using alarms and alerts, grounds managers know when severe storms are approaching as well as exact arrival times so that ground crews can be advised, work sites secured and schedules adjusted.

Dan Buck is an industry leader at Meteorlogix (Minneapolis, Minn.), DTN's brand of commercial weather services. Buck has worked in the weather industry for nine years, specializing in turf, lawn, landscape and construction.

Want to use this article? Click here for options!
© 2020 Penton Media Inc.

Interactive Products

Equipment Blue Book

Used Equipment Valuation Guide

Riding mowers, lawn tractors, snow throwers, golf carts


Grounds Maintenance Jobs

search our jobs database, upload your resume