You know that warm tingling feeling you get after a few drinks? Some of us call it a liquor blanket and it’s when alcohol consumption makes you feel a little warmer, a little cozier when it’s cold out. This odd phenomenon could be a possible explanation of increased alcohol consumption whenever there are extreme weather conditions, which we are experiencing now in Corvallis. I have been to the liquor store on 6th street twice now in the last 24 hours; now my increased shopping trips could be because I am the only one of my friends with snow tires and courage but also because all everyone wants to do is drink. A freak snow storm comes with it’s many expected outcomes: sledding, hot chocolate drinking, tire chains, and snow boots. An externality (positive or negative I’m not really sure) from these snow days has been an increase in alcohol consumption. This extra event stemming from the snow day is unexpected but it does make sense. The roads are terrible so most people can’t drive anyways, building a snowman drunk is way more fun, and peppermint schnapps hot chocolate is delicious, so drinking is the obvious activity for the day/night in this weather.
In the end I would conclude that the increased alcohol consumption occurring during this freak snow storm is a positive externality because of the financial boost to any stores that sell alcoholic beverages but also because it has increased individuals consumption utility from other activities such as sledding or sitting by a fireplace.