We usually think about the weather in terms like, “what should I wear today” or “when can I go on my run without getting soaked?” and things like that. But imagine if you’re a business that has a vested interest in the weather. Weather can make or break profits; it can cause a sudden boost in demand or leave you with way too much of something because no one wants it. I sometimes speak to businesses just like this.
In early November, I spoke to Northwest Natural about what to expect this winter. I focused a lot on La Nina and how that will likely mean a cooler and wetter winter and therefore more demand for natural gas. But there are other signs that this will be a wet winter. All we have to do is look at hurricanes.
The more days we have with hurricanes somewhere in the Atlantic Basin, the wetter our winters tend to be. The charts (left) show that connection. How could these be connected? Scientists have discovered that during La Nina years, the winds in the Atlantic Basin are friendlier to hurricane development because there’s less wind shear to interfere with hurricanes. This year has been much busier than average, even though most of the ‘canes avoided the U.S.
So, the next time you hear it’s been a busy Atlantic hurricane season you’ll know it’s probably going to be an extra wet winter in the northwest! And like we saw in 2009, very few days with hurricanes usually means a drier than normal winter.