Health impacts of daily weather fluctuations: Empirical evidence from COVID-19 in U.S. counties

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Authors:
  • Lotanna E. Emediegwu

Abstract

The emergence of the novel coronavirus has necessitated immense research efforts to understand how several non-environmental and environmental factors affect transmission. With the United States leading the path in terms of case incidence, it is important to investigate how weather variables influence the spread of the disease in the country. This paper assembles a detailed and comprehensive dataset comprising COVID-19 cases and climatological variables for all counties in the continental U.S. and uses a developed econometric approach to estimate the causal effect of certain weather factors on the growth rate of infection. The results indicate a non-linear and significant negative relationship between the individual weather measures and the growth rate of COVID-19 in the U.S. Specifically, the paper finds that a 1 °C rise in daily temperature will reduce daily covid growth rate in the U.S. by approximately 6 percent in the following week, while a marginal increase in relative humidity reduces the same outcome by 1 percent over a similar period. In comparison, a 1 m/s increase in daily wind speed will bring about an 8 percent drop in daily growth rate of COVID-19 in the country. These results differ by location and are robust to several sensitivity checks, so large deviations are unexpected.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number112662
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume291
Early online date24 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021