INDUSTRY: Prophets for Profit

Nothing affects business like the weather, and the weather affects every business differently. Snow sells cough drops but slows construction; a wet spring makes farmers buy fungicide by the carload but gives air-conditioner manufacturers the shudders; at the first frost orchids and oranges perish but antifreeze and ski-wax sales bloom again. Yet only a few businessmen can depend on the U.S. Weather Bureau's generalized daily reports for the information they need. To get the precise, specially tailored reports they want, more and more companies are turning to private weathermen, who tell...

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