After travelling to Sydney, I somehow managed to miss the spectacle that was the biggest dust storm to hit the city in over 70 years by going somewhere else for a week.
While I was in Melbourne preparing for a road trip down the Great Ocean Road (and generally avoiding the earthquake and the collapse of one of the Twelve Apostles minutes before we arrived) The Big Picture was on the case preparing a fantastic set of pictures of the phenomenon.
Those I have spoken to in Sydney have attested that this is exactly what it looked like to the naked eye.
I’m now reading Wikipedia’s list of extreme weather events.
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 [â€¦] 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.