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Knowing the Weather and Saving Money

October 17, 2011

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I am fascinated by the weather – it is my hobby, my job and my passion. I love to save money, especially in the current economy.

Fortunately, the two go hand-in-hand. When you know what is happening to the weather, you can make intelligent buying decisions and save lots and lots (and lots!) of money.

For example – Texas and the Southern Plains are having a terrible drought. It ruined ranch pasturelands and the cattlemen have had to cut back their herds.

The terrible drought in Texas will affect the price of beef.

Meanwhile, if you are a hamburger lover, the sell-off means that the prices of beef will fall. Then, next year, the smaller herds mean that there will be fewer cattle sold to the market. Now is the time to stock up on beef. If you can get a big order and freeze it, you will thank yourself later.

When there is good weather, you know prices are going to drop and you will find some bargains. Michigan, for example, had ideal apple weather and an 86% increase in its crop. Bring on the apple pie!

When weather is bad, you can buy early and stock up. For example, this winter will have a La Niña, which means a cold winter in the Northern states and Canada. Check out those sweaters and coats. 

Even foreign weather news can be important. For example, Thailand is flooding. The Thais are rallying and saving Bangkok, their beautiful and exotic capital from the waters. Heart-stirring pictures show the huge number of volunteers rallying to bring tons of food to a small herd of elephants stranded on an island.

These floods in Thailand can affect the prices of rice and computers! Source: Thailand Flood Monitoring System

Amid these stories is the report that Thailand, the number one rice exporter in the world, has lost 20% of its rice crops. They will be able to feed themselves, but this will cut exports. The last time this happened, 2007/2008, grain prices rose all over the world.

At the same time, a Forbes Magazine blog is warns the floods are hurting the production of components for computer hard disk drives. The writer, Eric Savitz, says the floods may be more disruptive to production than the Japanese earthquake.

Step aside, kids. Momma is going shopping!

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Evelyn Browning Garriss, historical climatologist, is a longtime writer for The Old Farmer's Almanac. She is also editor of The Browning World Climate Bulletin and has advised farmers, businesses, and investors worldwide on upcoming climate events and their economic and social impact for the past 21 years.

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