“Baby Boom Expected After Winter Storm Jonas” originally appeared on Yahoo Parenting and was reprinted with permission.
Could last weekend’s winter storm Jonas be responsible for a baby boom nine months from now? Some experts say yes — thanks to a combination of treacherous weather outside and bored people stuck inside.
“With low-level, low-severity storm advisories, we actually found an uptick in births nine months later,” Richard Evans, a professor of economics at Brigham Young University, said in an interview with NPR. “The story there is that if the lights go out and there’s no TV, it kind of sets the table for romance.”
Evans is the co-author of a study published in 2007 that found the birth rate only goes up after certain natural disasters. If extreme conditions cause people to evacuate or fear for their lives, birth rates will actually go down. “If you’re running for your life, you can’t make babies,” Evans said.
But that wasn’t the case with #Blizzard2016’s Jonas — where authorities gave people plenty of notice to stock up, hunker down, stay indoors, and prepare for power outages.
With no electricity, there’s no binge-watching TV, and limited social media access. And even with the electricity on, you can only watch so much Netflix over a long, snowy weekend.
“Those seem to be the conditions that generate more babies,” Evans said.
You only need to go back as far as 2014’s “Snowvember” in upstate New York to find this theory proving true. Nine months after a brutal snowstorm hit the Buffalo area and trapped residents in their homes for days, local hospitals reported a dramatic increase — up to 30 percent — in the number of births.
Before that, in 2012, Hurricane Sandy kept many people inside, and health officials reported birthrates in the areas affected did indeed rise nine months later — one hospital in New Jersey saw a 25 increase, according to The Guardian.
Nine months will tell whether or not Jonas sparked a similar baby boom. One thing is certain, however: a number of new couplings were born, with some New Yorkers advertising on Craigslist for snow mates, writing ads like “Fun personal guy seeking snow cuddle buddy,” and popular dating app Hinge reminding female users that “blizzard boyfriends” were available with a simple swipe right, according to the Daily Mail.
More from Yahoo Parenting:
- Mark Zuckerberg has one question for Facebook friends after paternity leave ends
- When an ex snuggles with new husband’s kids
- Twins living on opposite sides of the world become dads on same day
- Anna Duggar opens up about visiting Josh in rehab
- Stunning photos of mom expecting quintuplets go viral