Winter will be here before we know it, and this year’s forecast is predicting to be wetter and colder than usual, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). With reference class forecasting and improved planning strategies, you can reduce the probability of delays, schedule impacts, and costly repairs.

What can you expect this winter?

Temperature and precipitation impacts are here and likely to continue to influence the Northern Hemisphere. It is predicted that Northern and Southern California, Texas, and New Mexico will experience below-average precipitation. Meanwhile, Washington and Oregon will share a 75% chance of higher than average rainfall. A 2-minute video summarizing NOAA’s outlook on temperature, rain, and drought for the 2020-2021 winter can be found, HERE.

How does this forecast impact your project and planning?

  • Expect an increase in erosion control costs. If left unprotected, topsoil will be loosened and carried away during water runoff, accelerating soil erosion.
  • Cold weather protection will increase your project costs. Actions to protect your project and the work completed must be higher and more robust.
  • Your General Contractor (GC) needs to have a wet weather plan to keep your project protected and safe. Planning tasks should include covering dirt piles or pipe insulation on external systems.
  • Masonry will require additives that will allow for installation in colder temperatures. Your designers should specify if mechanical fasteners or chemical fasteners need to be used.
  • Pouring concrete during winter conditions is a challenge, even under the best circumstances. Different types of concrete pours have the potential to be affected. Subgrades, finishes, add mixtures should all be taken into consideration.
  • Take advantage of the weather on days with little to no precipitation to avoid disruptions or delays in the following project tasks.
    • Site work
    • Concrete
    • Roofing
    • Openings
    • Landscaping
    • Slope protection
    • Painting

Time is of the essence! Plan now. 

At OAC, we think about “dry seconds” and do everything we can to maximize the use of that time! It is essential to apply weather data and probability early in project planning to develop avoidance strategies with products, techniques, sequence, and prefabrication. The design and construction team must consider the weather when building and collaborate to deliver the project you envisioned.

At OAC, we use Reference Class Forecasting tools to see patterns and trends in the weather, and we use these tools to make more informed decisions years in advance, saving our clients time and money.

We’re thinking ahead. Email us at [email protected] if you have questions about Reference Class Forecasting or how to protect your project this winter.