Sunday, September 24, 2023
Homechart of the dayChart of the Day: Snowstorm by the numbers

Chart of the Day: Snowstorm by the numbers

If you live in the northeastern United States, it's cold today. Historically cold. Cold and snowblown.

New York City canceled school due to weather for the ninth time in 35 years, according to reports, adding to the more than 200 schools across the tri-state area that shut due to weather.

In the Boston area, a snow emergency forced most drivers off the roads and led the state to ask companies to give people the day off.

So how much snow actually fell?

As of early Friday morning many cities were well over 6 inches of snow, and in some places a good two to three hours were still to come.

But for many the bigger problem is the cold. Some cities will be 30 to 40 degrees below normal during the daytime Friday, and by nightfall temperatures will drop to historic lows near or below zero.

But for those who do manage to brave the cold and the snow to go to work, their employers might get a nice surprise — an unexpected bump in productivity during the day.

(Lee, J.J. et. al, (2012). Rainmakers: Why Bad Weather Means Good Productivity. Harvard Business School Working Paper 13-105).

A 2012 study out of Harvard Business School found that worker productivity actually rose on bad-weather days — after all, people didn't have much else to do but sit at their desks and get something done.

"In terms of the effect size, we find that a one standard deviation increase in rain is related to a 0.7% decrease in worker completion time," the study's authors wrote.


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