There's little doubt of weather's impact on business. According to a 2013 report from financial services corporation Allianz, 30 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product is affected by severe weather conditions each year. The report says that as much as 70 percent of all companies can be exposed to severe weather conditions at any one time.
And that exposure can be costly. Losses from weather-related delays to U.S. trucking companies, for instance, are as much as $3.5 billion a year.
"We say it's not about the weather but about the impact," said Steve Bennett, senior vice president of Verisk Climate, which sells software, data and analytics designed to help companies manage climate risk.
Like Planalytics, Bennett said Verisk is seeing growth. The company has several hundred weather experts and analysts dedicated to helping customers measure and manage risk climate, said Bennett, who is a meteorologist. Clients include utilities, banks, insurance and commodity firms.
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Information from firms such as Planalytics and Verisk is passed to customers through email, phone alerts, on-site planning meetings and even individualized websites for firms that want to track conditions in one or several locations.
"Knowing how to target customers in bad weather is key for some businesses," said Brent Shelton, a consumer expert at comparison shopping website FatWallet. "This past winter's rough weather showed a run on items like snow shoes, gloves and scarves. Being prepared can make a difference on a company's revenues."