Weather Forecasts and Economic Development

The eco­nom­ic impact of met­eor­o­lo­gic­al fore­casts is wide-ran­ging and, some­times, unex­pec­ted.

A few of these influ­ences are described briefly before this (tongue-in-cheek, yet still some­what logic­al) piece of advice is offered to devel­op­ing coun­tries:

A study from the mid-1990s […] con­cluded that every dol­lar inves­ted in weath­er fore­cast­ing ser­vices would save $10 in eco­nom­ic losses.

The World Bank broadly agrees, and is sup­port­ing Rus­si­an efforts to rein­vig­or­ate fore­cast­ing sys­tems that have been deteri­or­at­ing since the col­lapse of the Soviet Uni­on.

The World Bank’s research­ers reck­on that the bene­fits of such efforts out­weigh the costs by five to one. If those num­bers stack up, that sug­gests an unlikely devel­op­ment tac­tic for poor coun­tries: hire more weath­er fore­casters.