A professor of geography at Ohio State University reports weather disasters may be beneficial. Kendra Sweeney and her colleagues studied a Honduran community of 600 and their response from the devastation of Hurricane Mitch in October 1998. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports the village of Krausirpi, destroyed by the storm, recovered by 2002. The poorest households not only recouped their hurricane–related losses but tripled their household average holdings. McSweeney determined the key to the comeback was the way in which people claimed their land. Before the storm, land was claimed by clearing it, favoring the wealthier who could afford hiring people. After Mitch, land was claimed without clearing it, preventing the elite from dominating a disaster.

Fastcast: Cooldown begins.

A slight chance of showers between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.. Patchy dense fog before 9 a.m. High near 78. Calm winds becoming westerly at 10 mph to 15 mph. Rain chance: 20 percent.