Weekend Reads: The Eye of the Storm
Meteorologists are constantly adjusting statistical methods to make their weather predictions more accurate. Yet storm systems often deliver unforeseen damage and stray from their anticipated trajectories.
In finance, this is par for the course. The perils of market forecasting are well known. After all, you can’t time the market. And the weather, it turns out, can be just as difficult to anticipate with precision.
And that poses a problem. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict there are more dangerous storms on the horizon this year than average. Of course, they can’t say where or when they will strike.
The NOAA raised the likelihood of an above-average hurricane season from 45% to 60% citing the climate patterns observed since May. The number of named storms in the Atlantic thus far this year is twice what it was at this time last year.
Weather isn’t the only area of volatility this week. The United States and North Korea are facing off again over the latter’s recent missile tests and investors are jittery. For the first time since April, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite Index all dropped for three consecutive sessions. But it wasn’t all bad news: Gold and the Japanese yen are doing just fine.
Below are other reads on hurricanes, the weather, and the markets, among other topics, that have caught my eye this week.
More on Hurricanes
- How much does hurricane damage cost the United States? While the price tag on the median hurricane is over $2 billion, some storms cause much more destruction. (AccuWeather)
- So why is it so hard to predict hurricanes? (Popular Science)
- Ever wonder about hurricane names? The entire naming procedure is enforced by the World Meteorological Organization. (NOAA)
- Since 1944, the US Navy and Air Force have been flying directly into tropical cyclones. Chris Landsea provides a first-person account. (NOAA)
More about the Weather
- A tornado injured dozens of people in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Sunday. The National Weather Service reported that the EF-2 tornado had winds between 113 and 157 mph. (USA Today)
- Another tornado struck Salisbury, Maryland, on Monday, tossing cars on top of one another and damaging power lines, trees, and buildings. (Washington Post)
- There is no way to know exactly how many tornadoes form each year or to predict when and where they will touch down. The most destructive tornado on record occurred on 22 May 2011, in Joplin, Missouri. It killed 161 people, injured more than 1,000, and caused $2.9 billion in damages. (The Balance)
- “Tornado Climatology and Data” (NOAA)
- How to stay safe in a tornado. (NOAA)
- Floods struck New Orleans last weekend after five to nine inches of rain fell. Some of the turbines that powered the drainage pumps that keep water from deluging the city were damaged and rendered inoperable. Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on Thursday as a precaution. (The Times Picayune)
Other Nature Reads
- An estimated 1.7 million bee colonies are needed to pollinate the almond fields in California each year. (American Bee Journal)
- And they contribute $29 billion to US farm income. (Cornell Chronicle)
- Interested in becoming a beekeeper? (Guardian)
- Expect extreme traffic during the upcoming solar eclipse. (Space.com)
Market and Economic News
- Automated Data Processing (ADP) CEO Carlos Rodriguez called Bill Ackman a “spoiled brat.”( CNBC)
- A Google engineer circulated a controversial internal memo critical of the company’s diversity initiatives, for which he was later fired. The controversy has yet to subside. (The New York Times)
- Household debt reached $12.7 trillion for US consumers in the first quarter. (Bloomberg)
- The Venezuelan bolivar is now worth less than World of Warcraft currency. (Fortune)
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All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.
Image credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) via Getty Images