A Comparison of Paid Versus Free Weather Services for Site Specific Weather Forecasts for Construction Projects
Weather plays a pivotal role in almost every construction project. Historical observations of weather conditions in an area are closely used during project design, pre-construction planning, and construction stages. During the last five years there has been a steady increase in the number of paid weather services that claim to provide more accurate weather data as compared to the free weather services. The aim of this research study is to compare the reliability and accuracy of paid weather services versus the free ones. Weather data (high and low temperatures, precipitation, and wind speed) were recorded over the course of 90 calendar days from two different weather services namely the National Weather Service (Free) and a private site specific weather service (Paid). The weather forecast data of both services were statistically analyzed and compared against the actual observed conditions. The results indicated no significant statistical differences between the two weather services. In addition, both services fell short in predicting the accurate weather conditions beforehand. The findings of this study will help construction managers to decide whether or not to use a paid site-specific weather service as a decision-making tool for a specific project.
KeywordsWeather Schedule Planning Decision support Construction
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