What is the link between the Blizzard of ‘96, Tropical Storm Floyd, and Superstorm Sandy? The answer is WeatherWorks, the Hackettstown, NJ-based private weather consulting firm celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. For every drought or flood, blizzard or heat wave or any of the beautiful weather in between, WeatherWorks has continuously kept track of these events so their clients, and average citizens, don’t have to.
“I have seen it all,” said Frank Lombardo, President and Founder of WeatherWorks.
Since its start in January of 1986, the company has forecasted over 1000 inches of snow (enough snow to fill a professional football stadium). However, the company not only predicts snow events. Through its 30 year history, WeatherWorks has also alerted numerous clients in both the public and private sectors, of 18 major tropical systems and countless nor’easters, always focused on the company’s main mission: public safety. “Keeping the public safe is our number one priority,” declared Lombardo.
From its state-of-the-art facility in Northwest New Jersey, WeatherWorks monitors the weather near and far in its “Storm Center.” But, it hasn’t always been that way.
“We started at the bottom,” joked Lombardo.
As an American Meteorological Society Certified Consulting Meteorologist, he is proud of how far WeatherWorks has come since he first set up shop in his basement with only a handful of clients. Now Lombardo says the company imparts its critical weather information to over 1500 clients who use the service to make important decisions in their day- to-day operations.
Not only has Lombardo seen his company grow and transform, but he has also witnessed the science of weather forecasting evolve along the way. “Over the years, the weather science has changed dramatically and it’s been an incredible transformation,” he said. “What was more of an ‘art’ 30 years ago has become a sophisticated balance of new technology and human interpretation of data. The fine-tuning in predicting the weather is amazing. It will never be perfect–Mother Nature won’t allow that–but we can now pinpoint what to expect today or five days from now with much more accuracy than three decades ago.”
In a world so dependent on smartphone apps and the news for weather updates, clients continue to trust WeatherWorks before, during, and after the storm. The company builds its reputation on its closeness and communication with its clients and on its availability 24/7, 365 days a year. These attributes explain why the WeatherWorks service area has snowballed from the I-95 corridor into the Midwest. The team of 25 meteorologists working around the clock for New Jersey’s largest privately-owned weather consulting firm understands just how much is riding on accurate and up-to-date forecasts.
Besides serving more than half of New Jersey’s county road departments and over 70 municipalities, WeatherWorks even consults clients that are “out of this world”, including NASA Goddard Space Center. Others are fan favorites like the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles. School districts and secondary education institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, and the University of Maryland rely on WeatherWorks’ alerts to determine how weather will affect student transportation and when it is safest to close.
WeatherWorks’ forensic meteorologists also document weather data in order to provide analyses for legal and insurance industries. In thousands of cases ranging from personal injury to property damage to contract disputes, Lombardo and his forensic team have provided expert testimony for law firms, insurance companies, and engineering firms alike.
For Frank Lombardo and his dedicated crew, weather forecasting is both a passion and a career choice, and sometimes tracking the weather means missing out on a holiday or unexpectedly working through the night. “But when so many people are relying on forecasts to make informed decisions, it’s never a burden,” states Lombardo. “It’s our responsibility.”