Here's an article about Evelyn Browning Garris' weather punditry. She even reminds me of her dad (see foto). I bought a video made by her dad in 1990. I found it fascinating.
Investment advice is blowing in the wind
Guessing even tomorrow's weather is tricky, but
climatologist Evelyn Browning-Garriss's long-term forecasts and their
impact on commodities have the ear of farmers, corporations -- and
Browning-Garriss is a weather whisperer who advises everyone from Texas
cattle raisers to vineyards and Canadian banks about what the coming
season will bring.
Guessing even tomorrow's weather is tricky,
but the New Mexico climatologist's long-term forecasts are right on the
money, her clients say.
Take last spring, when just about everyone figured another wild
hurricane season would propel oil and natural gas prices to records.
They bet on it -- but positions for investors such as Amaranth Advisors
LLC went sour after the season turned out to be one of the calmest in a
Not everyone had jumped on the bandwagon. Ms. Browning-Garriss
thought volcanic ash from eruptions in Montserrat and Russia would
temper the weather. And she said so to clients, the media and in her
The Bank of Nova Scotia paid attention.
Its futures trading arm was one of the few to advise clients that
energy prices may not blast off last spring and summer. Not everyone
listened, but those who did were laughing all the way to the bank.
"I would rank her as being the best that I know of as far as being
able to predict long-term weather patterns," said Jeff Kowal, a futures
specialist at Scotia Capital Inc.
Ms. Browning-Garriss, author of the Browning Newsletter, was in
Toronto this month telling Scotiabank clients how El Nino, volcanic
activity and sun spots will influence the weather. Her audience seemed
riveted, asking questions about the coming season and how Canada will
For Scotia Capital, which deals in markets such as natural gas,
corn, wheat, soy beans and orange juice, any insights into the weather
are useful because of its influence on commodity prices.
Mr. Kowal also likes that Ms. Browning-Garriss isn't backed by any private or public funding.
"It's important to note that she is independent, so she's not being
paid by a particular sector or lobby group that has a vested interest,"
Mr. Kowal said.
Ms. Browning-Garriss, a walking Farmer's Almanac with two decades of
experience in the field, grew up hearing weather tales from her
father's knee. Famed weather predictor Iben Browning is said to have
forecast the timing of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake -- though he
falsely predicted a killer earthquake in southeastern Missouri a year
later. He died shortly after.
His daughter, now in her fifties, inherited his fascination with the
natural world. She readily admits she's not a scientist by training --
her degree is in anthropology and history -- and says most of her focus
has been on how weather affects people.
She's far more interested in nature than the politics of climate
change, but says that human activity is heating up a planet that's
already warming. She looks at natural cycles of the weather, using
factors such as solar radiation, ocean currents and volcanic activity
to predict patterns in the future.
And she's rather good at it, which is why farmers, power companies
and investors go back to her, year after year, for her predictions.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association has had her
speak at past conventions and said it plans to keep using her amid a
drought and wild fires in the region.
Ms. Browning-Garriss estimates a third of her clients are farmers,
ranchers or investors, who want to know how hurricanes, droughts and
floods will affect agricultural commodities. About a third are power
and utility companies interested in heating and cooling days. The final
third are a diverse bunch ranging from sports retailers who want to
know about the ski season, to paint shops, insurers, florists and
She tries to keep travel down to four days a month, but she's
ventured as far as Fiji and Belize to advise power producers there.
Staying independent is a key, she says. "My father passed down the
advice: Don't get on government contracts and have private clients,
because with a private client, if you're wrong, they won't hire you
again. You get immediate feedback," she says in a phone interview from
Sandia Park, N.M., a region hit with snow storms this month.
The climatologist was correct about last year's season, and also
predicted wild hurricanes the year before, just before Katrina hit. But
such accuracy isn't new. A full decade ago, the Wall Street Journal
named her as one of the year's winners because she was one of the few
predicting rains in Texas.
As for the coming season? She'd prefer you subscribe to her $225
(U.S.) newsletter to find out. But she does say the warmth in the
Atlantic Ocean means it'll be another wild ride. The opposite of last
year, in fact.
She also expects more volatility -- and warming -- to come. Droughts
will continue to plague California and the southern U.S. states,
bringing more wildfires. In the northeast, meantime, heavy rainfall
could delay spring planting and prompt farmers to plant soy beans
instead of corn. (This call prompted Scotiabank to issue a research
note, predicting a rally in corn futures).
In all, "expect a lot of weather records to be broken," she says