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Storms Put Damper on U.S. Economy

Photo: Runners in the 111th Boston Marathon had to cope with the unusual Spring nor'easter.

Halfway through, it was the COLDEST APRIL IN 24 YEARS. "The year-over-year change is AS EXTREME AS WE HAVE EVER SEEN." The extremes were especially noticeable two weeks ago, when a major nor'easter engulfed the mid-Atlantic and New England states. In New York's Central Park, 7.5 inches of rain fell - a record for one day in the month of April. The warm weather in March caused fruit trees in Ohio to bloom. But the snow in April severely damaged the crop. Some growers have lost their entire crop of apples. A weather-impact research firm in Pennsylvania issued a report that found soil temperatures are much lower than normal. "Optimistically, we're looking at May 5 before the planting can be completed. This could affect corn prices, which could even impact the price of gasoline since corn is used in making ethanol (now used as a blend in gasoline)."
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