Door County

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Landscaping and El Nino

The weather sure has been something to talk about this year and it seems like it will be for the year ahead.  The real question is, how it will impact what goes on in the business we are all involved with? Last year, we had a very early spring, due the lack of snow and the mild temperatures, creating the opportunity to get landscaping projects and sales done very early in the year and lengthening the landscaping season.  This winter we are seeing the impacts of a somewhat strong El Niño. Simply put, El Niño is an anomalous, yet periodic, warming of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. For reasons still not well understood, every 2-7 years, this patch of ocean warms for 6 to 18 months. This warming impacts our traditional weather pattern in the US, as well as throughout the world.  Normally, we in Wisconsin see warmer temperatures and less precipitation in the winter of an El Niño year according to National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center at NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  The National Weather Service is also predicting this El Niño to be unusually strong, so we are likely to see warmer temperatures and less precipitation thorough late winter and early spring 2016. 
If December is any indication, we certainly had warmer weather on one hand, but on the other we had a lot of precipitation.  Needless to say, it’s only a forecast and we still have a lot of winter left.  Given this forecast, it appears we may be in for another year of an early spring.  So, I leave this article off where I started, given this forecast of an early spring how can we use this information in our businesses to make better business decisions? Some possible questions to ask and answer:  Will we be ready to take advantage of an early spring? Do we have the materials and labor needed to get going early? Should we advertise differently, etc.?  The bottom line is thinking through how you decide to act given this information is what is important and will lead to a possible plan for action whatever that may be. 

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