Weather Data (or lack of)

We’ve just come to assess our entitlement to a CE due to snow just before Christmas and have applied for the 1:10 and the latest weather data from the weather station listed in CD1. We have been advised that they are unable to provide the data we require, both historically and most recent.

Where does that leave us in terms of making the assessment? We could get the data from another weather station close by I guess by agreement, but it won’t be the one listed in CD1 and probably wouldn’t represent as accurately the weather at our site. As there is no data available, does the weather experienced, by default, exceed the 1:10 recorded weather??


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I presume that when you say they are unable to provide the data that whoever it is that monitors the weather station simply doesn’t record data on snow?

Also if CD1 states “the number of days with snow lying at X:XXhrs GMT” it seems that the intent of the contract was for snow to be an event that would be a CE in certain circumstances and it’s just the source of data that’s the problem. I don’t think you have a strong argument to say that because of this it means that any and all snow is a CE. Maybe that could be true in certain circumstances if for example historically there has never been any snow in that location, however if your site is in northern Europe that is unlikely to be the case!

If you can persuade your PM to agree that snow in certain circumstances is a CE it then leaves you to argue about what those circumstances would be. Trying to find an alternative weather station (by agreement) is one solution provided the conditions there are representative of conditions on your site. This may not necessarily be the closest one as there are a number of other factors to consider e.g. altitude, inland / coastal, built up area / rural etc. If you can’t find or agree a sensible alternative then maybe more of a subjective test has to be applied like you’d find in more traditional contracts e.g. was the snow “exceptionally adverse”.

It is possible that these circumstances could be argued to make the contract ambiguous or inconsistent, in which case clause 17.1 could help to resolve it however I suspect that trying to agree a sensible solution with the PM may be a better answer.

One point to consider is that even if you can prove that the snow was a CE, you still have to prove the change to Defined Cost and delay to planned Completion as a result of it. So unless you have incurred significant increased costs and delay it may not be worth pursuing the argument. As you can tell from my reply, the answer isn’t clear cut and quite often that means it will be expensive for the Parties to find out what the right answer is!


Hi, could you give more detail about the information contained within section 6 of the Contract Data part one?
Where is the place where weather measurements are to be recored in relation to the Site?
Who are the weather measurements supplied by?
Where is the location for the past weather measurements in relation to the Site and who are they supposed to be available from?
Were there any assumed values for the ten year whether return weather data?

The responsibility to provide complete Contract Data part one lies with the Client when compiling it, so they should have checked that the weather data for each weather measurement was available, if not they should have provided assumed values for the weather data.

Happy to discuss.

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