A Winter Hurricane
Evan Gold is an analyst with Planalytics. He estimates that last week's snow and ice blitz over the southern and eastern USA cost the American economy close to $15 billion, the rough equivalent of a moderate hurricane. There was far less structural damage, but the impact to company's bottom lines was significant. People were stranded at home; they didn't go to restaurants or buy cars. Job productivity suffered; impacts to supply chains - there was a ripple effect.
Based on HDD, Heating Degree Days compiled by NOAA, we've spent about 10 percent more than usual to heat our homes this winter. Think of this stretch of numb as a forced savings plan.
A new paper at Harvard Business Review suggests that we are all hard-wired to attach more value to items (and ultimately spend more money) the warmer it is outside.
No kidding. Most of us are too busy hibernating to shop.
Winter Storm Warnings are posted this morning for 2-4 inches of snow; over a half foot possible east of the St. Croix. The worst travel comes this morning, with conditions improving somewhat for the drive home later today.
The big news: 30s return, even a shot at 40F by Tuesday. Models hint at a few more subzero nights early next week - but the sun is now as high in the sky as it was on October 25. At some point the Polar Vortex will run out of juice.
Oh blessed day.
...A PERIOD OF HEAVY SNOW WILL SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT THE MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE... A WINTER STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT GENERALLY EAST OF A LINE FROM SAINT CLOUD TO FARIBAULT...AND INCLUDES THE TWIN CITIES METRO AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN. MODERATE TO OCCASIONALLY HEAVY SNOW WILL DEVELOP LATE TONIGHT AND PERSIST THROUGH THE MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE. THE SNOW WILL TAPER OFF FROM LATE MORNING MONDAY OVER MINNESOTA TO MONDAY AFTERNOON OVER WESTERN WISCONSIN. SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 6 INCHES ARE EXPECTED...WITH LOCAL AMOUNTS OF AROUND 7 INCHES EAST OF US-53 IN WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN. NORTH AND WEST OF THE WARNING AREA...WHERE SNOW AMOUNTS AND IMPACTS ON TRAVEL WILL BE LESS...A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT. THE ADVISORY AREA IS GENERALLY EAST OF A LINE FROM LONG PRAIRIE TO MANKATO. SNOWFALL AMOUNTS IN THE ADVISORY AREA ARE EXPECTED TO BE 3 OR 4 INCHES.
Photo credit above: "John Cristantello, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, checks forecasts at the NWS offices in Upton, N.Y., Feb. 16, 2014. Meteorologists have been working long hours through the extremely active winter season in the New York area,and their stress was compounded by a public row between Mayor Bill de Blasio and a number of prominent weathermen." (Gordon M. Grant/The New York Times).
Photo credit above: " .
Image above: strokesmart.org.
Warm Weather Leaves You In The Mood To Buy. No kidding. And we tend to attach a higher price/value to objects when it's warm outside. Confirming what may just be good old fashioned common sense, here's a clip from The Journal of Consumer Psychology at sciencedirect.com. What, you don't skim this from time to time? "A series of five field and laboratory studies reveal a temperature-premium effect: warm temperatures increase individuals' valuation of products. We demonstrate the effect across a variety of products using different approaches to measure or manipulate physical warmth and different assessments of product valuation. The studies suggest that exposure to physical warmth activates the concept of emotional warmth, eliciting positive reactions and increasing product valuation. Further supporting the causal role of emotional warmth, and following prior research relating greater positive feelings to reduced distance, we find that warm temperatures also reduce individuals' perceived distance from the target products..."
Imagining An Alaska-Generated Tsunami Hitting Los Angeles. Statistically it's only a matter of time before a scenario similar to the one described by Alaska Dispatch becomes reality. Will L.A. and other west coast cities be prepared?
Image credit above: " Courtesy Vasily Titov, NOAA Center for Tsunami Research.
Will Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death Be A Wake-Up Call? Opiate addiction in this country has reached epidemic proportions. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Los Angeles Times: "...Keep in mind though: Since the rise of the American automobile, traffic fatalities have been our leading cause of accidental death — until now. More people now die of drug overdoses — about 38,000 a year, according to the latest numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics. The largest category of drugs represented within that number is prescription opioids (16,000 roughly), according to the CDC..."
Image above: drugfree.org.
Photo credit above: "A slogan is projected by Greenpeace activists on a cooling tower of Belchatow power station." Photograph: Kacper Pempel/REUTERS.
Photo credit: "In this Feb. 4, 2014 file photo a warning buoy sits on the dry, cracked bed of Lake Mendocino near Ukiah, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown was governor the last time California had a drought of epic proportions, in 1975-76 and now is pushing a controversial $25 billion plan to build twin tunnels to ship water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to farmland and cities further south." (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)
Photo credit above: "Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) called "dark funding" "an identity-laundering scheme." (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff).
- Speak more like Apple, and less like Microsoft.
- Make the impacts of climate change relatable. It may be hard to comprehend the impacts of climate change in general terms, but people are certainly willing to listen when its happening to them.
- Environmentalism isn't anti-growth — it's anti-waste. Emphasize the economic opportunities that come with adaptation to climate change..."