Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are Murray and Trettel, Inc. and Weather Command®?
A: Murray and Trettel, Inc. is a private meteorological consulting company, founded in 1946 by John R. Murray and Dennis W. Trettel. It is one of the oldest and most respected private meteorological consulting companies in the United States. The company’s Operational Forecast Division is known as Weather Command®.
Q: How many people does Murray and Trettel, Inc. employ?
A: Currently, the company has a total of 21 employees on staff, including 17 Professional Meteorologists.
Q: What does Weather Command® do?
A: Weather Command’s® team of professional meteorologists provide clients with timely, site-specific weather information and forecasts. The Weather Command® Operational Forecast Facility is staffed 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Clients have access to telephone consultation with professional meteorologists around the clock.
Q: For what locations can Weather Command® provide forecasts?
A: Weather Command’s® primary client base is the Great Lakes Region - Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. However, forecasts are prepared for locations throughout the United States.
Q: Who uses Weather Command® forecasts?
A: Any business that can be impacted by the weather is a potential Weather Command® client. The following is a list of the type of clients currently using Weather Command’s® Forecast Service:
- Electric Utilities
- Professional Sports Teams
- Gas Utilities
- Park Districts
- Department of Transportation
- Large Metropolitan Cities
- Production Companies
- Public Works Departments
- Underwater Construction Companies
- County Highway Departments
- Marine Shipping Companies
- Large Corporate Campuses
- Golf Courses
- Contract Snow Plowing Companies
- Car Washes
- General Contractors
- Landscape Companies
- Property Managers
- Concrete and Asphalt Contractors
- Steel Companies
Q: There is plenty of free weather information out there, so why should I pay for it?
A: The weather that is available on the web and what you hear from the media is a general forecast for a large area. Most of us whose livelihood depends on the weather need something that is more site and time specific. Our clients need to know what kind of weather will happen at a given location at a given time. Thanks to radar and satellite data as well as other tools that we use, to a large extent we are able to do that. Also, you may hear conflicting forecasts on the radio and TV, as well as what you access on the internet, but by using Weather Command® you receive the weather from one reliable source.
Q: I see where a private weather consulting service will help me, so I should go to the one that charges the lowest fee, right?
A: Weather forecasts are like most other things. You get what you pay for. Other companies may charge lower fees by using inexperienced forecasters, reformatting the National Weather Service forecasts to make it look like their own, or only use forecasts put out by computer models. At Weather Command®, while we make every possible effort to be financially competitive, we take pride in our forecasts and feel our clients are entitled to the most accurate forecasts possible. Our professional meteorologists, most of whom have over 20 years of experience, develop all of our forecasts. While computer model forecasts are an important tool, by importing our knowledge and experience, the client receives the best possible information.
Q: I have my own radar, so why can’t I do my own forecasting?
A: While radar is an important tool, many other things go into a weather forecast. Weather maps, satellite photographs and surface weather observations to name a few. Radar can also be deceiving. When moisture is high up in the atmosphere, it will appear on radar as if it will rain or snow soon. In reality, it will usually evaporate long before it hits the ground. Conversely, when moisture is low level, it may not show up on the radar, but precipitation can still reach the ground.
Q: Storm warnings are important to me. I don’t sit behind a desk, so how are you going to let me know when a warning is issued?
A: We’ve got you covered. If we are issuing a storm warning, we'll find you. We will call you on your cell phone, at home, or page you. Warnings are faxed so you have something in writing, but we always make every effort to get in contact with you, to make sure you receive our storm warning. We are watching the weather 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you don’t have to.
Q: I have the warning, what about updates?
A: Updates are issued as necessary. If there is a significant change in the forecast, you will receive an update. The fact is, meteorology is not an exact science, and as much as we try and get the forecast right the first time, it does not always happen. But we never let a wrong forecast go uncorrected.
Q: Can you provide historical weather data?
A: Weather Command® has archived climatological data, dating back to the 1940’s. Data that dates as far back as the late 1800’s is available from Weather Command’s® sources. Clients may request copies of data or written reports, detailing the weather that occurred at specific locations, dates and times.
Q: Can you provide expert courtroom testimony concerning the weather conditions at the time of an incident?
A: When weather is an issue in a legal matter, Weather Command’s® forensic meteorologists provide written opinions, depositions, and expert courtroom testimony.
The type of legal cases our Forensic Meteorologists have been involved with includes, but is not limited to:
- Slip and Fall
- Wind Damage
- Lightning Strike
- Rail Accident
- Car Accident
- Excessive Heat
Q: What does Murray and Trettel’s Environmental Applications Division do?
A: Murray and Trettel’s Environmental Applications Division purchases, installs, maintains and calibrates meteorological monitoring equipment. The equipment we maintain may be located at ground level or on a tower that rises nearly 400 feet above the ground. Murray and Trettel has a staff of qualified field technicians who climb these towers to maintain or calibrate the equipment.
Data is collected periodically from remote sites and reviewed for accuracy. Computers perform the first review of the data and data that may indicate a problem is flagged. Professional meteorologists then review the data to verify that the data is accurate. If a review of the data indicates a problem exists at a site, field technicians are dispatched to perform maintenance to correct the problem.
Valid data recovery is the primary goal. Valid data recovery levels are generally over 98%, far exceeding the minimum criteria set by Federal Agencies.
Monthly, quarterly and annual data reports are provided to the client. Some clients are required to submit copies of the reports to State or Federal agencies.
Q: Who uses Murray and Trettel’s Environmental Applications Division services?
A: Nuclear utilities are Murray and Trettel’s Environmental Applications Division’s largest clients. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires that weather be constantly monitored at all nuclear facilities. There are 66 commercial nuclear plants operating in the United States. The Environmental Applications Division provides service to 13 of these plants, located in five states.
Other Environmental Applications Division clients include natural gas clients, fossil fuel burning electric facilities, a refinery, a large steel plant and a water reclamation district. The Environmental Applications Division has also been involved in atmospheric dispersion modeling.
Q: Besides maintaining meteorological monitoring equipment, what other services does the Environmental Applications Division offer?
A: Current environmental projects include calibrating and auditing sulfur dioxide monitoring equipment, auditing opacity monitoring equipment, installing and maintaining thermal and pH probes located in waterways, and providing wind data for a proposed airport.