ERF Company, Inc

Forecasting Weather for the Individual

By Phil Volker
President, ERF Company

The history of ERF goes back to my days at KOIN-TV in Portland, OR where I was the morning and mid-day meteorologist. Part of my day was spent developing the weather consulting company called LeeWeather. Our first client was EWEB, the Eugene Water and Electric Board, that has remained a client. Our second client was and still is the City of Portland that started service during the December 1978 Arctic outbreak and eventual severe ice storm of January 8-11, 1979.

The purpose of the private weather consulting program was, and is, to provide detailed site and time specific weather forecast information to users who need this more specific information. It is interesting to note that many of my clients would watch me during my noon, 5 p.m., or 11 p.m. TV forecasts knowing that once I was off the air I would write them a more detailed forecast that would be much different than the generic one provided while I was on the air!

The goal of ERF is to provide as much specific, both site and time, weather information as we can in terms that the user can understand. This is not always easy and does necessitate the use of the phone to clarify any unanswered questions that are not covered in the daily forecast. Of course, part of our service also promotes the use of the phone as a forecast tool. We want to hear from our clients as often as you want to call! The mission of ERF is to keep you ahead of any eventual weather events; sometimes this can be accomplished days in advance, other times we only have a matter of hours. Even with all of the computer technology, direct communication via phone is the quickest and best method of getting the word out. During severe weather events, we trust the phone over faxes, e-mail, or any other method. It seems to work the best for all of us.

ERF will continue to improve on our forecast techniques and databases. WE WILL continue to develop programs that are requested by you, our client. Many of the products that we use today are based on requests from many of you. Our pest and disease modeling information was a direct request from one of our spray applicator clients who wanted us to run different pest and disease models for him. We not only went out and got the models, but we have also been installing more and more weather stations to support the overall program. The same holds true for irrigation management and transportation. We are currently working on a number of new products and features that are based on your needs and suggestions. Many of these will be available as value-added services at no charge. All you need is a computer and you can have direct access to the information. Of course, you can give us a call, too! I offer plenty of advice, even if it is for your next vacation.

430 North Lotus Isle Drive
Portland, OR 97217
Fax 503-285-3633

Copyright © 2011 ERF Company, Inc
All Rights Reserved

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