Thursday, February 11, 2016

Weather tonic

Feeling positive, generous, lucky? It may be something in the air.

Weather tonic


One of the great mysteries of life is why we are denied a sense of well-being when we believe we fully deserve it, and why we get it when we don't deserve it.

All we can say is that life is unfair, and sometimes it works to our advantage, even though we tend to forget those times.

Which brings us to a day in which the atmosphere has delivered an energizing air mass almost too good to be true for a June 26.

That the weather affects mood and productivity is beyond dispute -- remember how you felt last week? -- but some of us choose to spend our lives in a form of biological denial.

The fact is that all air-conditioning and modified indoor environments notwithstanding, we cannot escape the influences of the atmosphere entirely.

Countless trees have died in the service of papers attempting to document precise effects, but such research is maddeningly difficult since it is so difficult to isolate the atmophere's behavior from other variables.

We would note two studies that we've written about tha speak to the weather's powers.

In the 1990s, a Temple University psychologist authored a study of Atlantic City casino patrons that found that people were more likely to tip generously on sunny days.

An on-site researcher worked as a room-server three mornings a week, serving more than 450 guests.

Regardless of the actual conditions, when the researcher nformed the guests that it was raining, his tips averaged 18.6 percent. When he told them it was sunny, that figure went up to 23.7.

Weather also appears to affect the stock market. Another study by Ohio State Univeristy and the University of Michigan researchers (and we know of no other instance in which those two institutions actually cooperated) found that sun was great for the market.

On clear days, they found an annualized growth rate of 24.8 percent, compared with 8.7 on cloudy days.

We haven't conducted any scientific study, but we don't research to know that June days such as this are rare, and we'll take as many as we can get.

Inquirer Weather Columnist
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

Reach Tony at

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
Also on
letter icon Newsletter