Summer 2024 Weather Risks Could Threaten Businesses, Experts Warn

As the summer of 2024 unfolds, weather risk experts are sounding alarms about the potential economic impacts of severe weather. Paul Walsh, managing director at G2 Weather Intelligence, described this summer’s weather forecast as one of the riskiest he has ever seen, with extreme heat, wildfires, and a potentially record-breaking hurricane season all posing significant threats.

Walsh expressed concerns about the forecasted summer heat and its health impacts, particularly as extreme heat advisories are already being issued across California and the Southwest, where temperatures are expected to reach triple digits. “The forecast for the summer is as risky as I’ve ever seen,” Walsh told FOX Weather.

In addition to the heat, Walsh highlighted the dangers of a busy hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued its most aggressive hurricane season forecast on record, predicting between 17 and 25 named storms. The combination of extreme heat, poor air quality, potential wildfires, and an active hurricane season could lead to a challenging and disruptive summer.

“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 industries are increasingly relying on weather data and analytics to mitigate these risks. Companies in energy, agriculture, insurance, and retail are leveraging technology to better prepare for weather events. Walsh noted that predictive technology and artificial intelligence are helping businesses become more proactive. For example, Walmart has used predictive technology for 20 years to stock up on items like strawberry Pop-Tarts ahead of hurricanes, a practice that has become emblematic of the retail giant’s preparedness.

“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,” where businesses use advanced technology to anticipate and respond to severe weather events.

This summer’s extreme weather risks underscore the importance of preparedness and the role of technology in helping businesses navigate the challenges posed by an increasingly volatile climate. As businesses continue to adapt, the ability to anticipate and respond to weather-related disruptions will be crucial in maintaining stability and mitigating economic impacts.

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