Posts tagged ‘weather’

Hurricane Ike Effects

By the time it reached us it was actually a tropical storm, but nonetheless Ike left his mark on Marshall. My power was out for almost 24 hours. Some areas of town flooded and many trees were blown over, some onto houses.

Soon after my electricity was restored, I realized just how stressed out I had been the last few days. The exhaustion set in quickly, and my body began to ache all over. I felt mentally numb. The relief I felt just as the lights came on gave way to malaise and restlessness.

I have a theory about this. I mentioned in a previous post that stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, create a chain reaction that shuts down the reproductive, immune, and digestive systems (plus areas of the frontal cortex). My period is two days late — it was supposed to start on Friday. I have been having bouts of IBS for three days as well. That’s two systems clearly affected.

Now that the perceived crisis is over, the stress hormones ceased production and my reproductive system is functional again. It is probably gearing up for my period, and I always get terribly exhausted right before it. Plus, the absence of the adrenaline in particular has left my body without fuel. My muscles ache because they were tense under stress, readying me for the “fight, flight or freeze” instinct if needed.

I knew that I was nervous and anxious, but I didn’t realize just how anxious I was! I did not expect to feel like this when everything went back to “normal” — I expected to feel normal. LOL

September 14, 2008 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

Election Weather

On Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008, 23 states held primaries or caucuses for one or both political parties. Also on that day, a massive storm system that stretched from the Ohio Valley to Alabama spawned 82 tornadoes, killed at least 59 people, and resulting in early closing for some polling locations. The hardest hit states, Tennessee and Alabama, were both having primaries that day. (read more in my article on BellaOnline,

    “Super Tuesday 2008 Tornado Outbreak

)

Did the severe weather have an effect on the primary outcomes? At the polling places that closed early, some individuals were not able to vote at all. Depending on demographic patterns, this could have resulted in loss of votes for one candidate or another. Could it have been enough to change the outcome? What about tomorrow’s primaries in Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island?

I can think of many factors determining the answer to those questions:

1. Demographic support of candidates — How do age, race, socioeconomic status, etc. affect support? Is there a clear division between older and younger voters? What about lower, middle, and upper class?

2. Differences in turnout due to weather — Does severe weather affect which demographic groups go to the polls? Are older voters less likely to get out in bad weather? What about lower class individuals who do not have cars?

3. What is the size of the effect, if any, that the weather has on the turnout demographics? Does it make a significant difference, percentage-wise, in the turnout of a given group during severe weather as compared to an election in good weather?

The answers to these questions will decide the final effect of the severe weather. Tomorrow Ohio voters face cold rain, with snow and ice in the northern areas. Hillary Clinton is expected to win Ohio, based on her 5% lead in CNN’s “Poll of Polls”.(10:02 PM CST)

However — Hillary’s support base is considered to be older voters. Not necessarily over 65, but some of them are old enough that driving in bad weather would be difficult. Will they decide to stay home if the elements are exceptionally vicious? If so, how many will stay home? Will it be enough to sway that 5% lead? Also, older voters frequently choose early voting, sometimes because they are unsure of the weather on election day (plus, they don’t relish the long lines). If lots of Hillary supporters have voted early then the weather may not have an effect at all.

The problem with issues of this type is there is no way to do a truly scientific study — you cannot have a control group. However, it can be useful in this case to compare CNN’s poll with the final outcome. Tomorrow night I will comment on exactly that.

March 3, 2008 at 10:15 pm Leave a comment


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