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.