When New York gets buried in more than two feet (68.1 cm) of snow can babies be far behind? Experts are already predicting a baby bump nine months from now.
Some of those newborns will be welcomed by long-married parents who got bored being shut in during the the great US East Coast blizzard of 2016. While others will be the product of "Blizzard Baes" (babies of the romantic kind): lonely people seeking someone to cuddle up with who find each other on social networks.
Expert say that people tend to have sex more when they are shut in at home during low-level emergencies although that does not happen when people are fleeing for their lives, say, from a flood.
"With low-level, low-severity storm advisories, we actually found an uptick in births nine months later. It was about a 2% increase with tropical storm watches," Richard Evans, a professor of economics at Brigham Young University, told NPR. But with the "most severe storm warnings ... you get almost an equal decrease in births nine months later," he added.
Evans believes the East Coast storm might have had just the right conditions for a crop of newborns in nine months. The East Coast blizzard was "low-severity storm advisory — in the sense that, for the most part, people are not being asked to evacuate, they're not running," he said.
"They're just told to hunker down in their houses for the duration of the storm until everything can get ploughed and back to normal." If the "lights go out and there's no TV, it kind of sets the table for romance, and you get births nine months later," he said.
Even singletons could be parents this year as thousands of East Coasters took to social media to find someone to snuggle up with during the blizzard. Last year, the dating app Hinge saw a 47% spike in users during the blizzard predicted (but largely fizzled out in New York) in January 2015. For January 2016, the lonely again took to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Craigslist to find a partner.
"I'll be your blizzard boyfriend," a Jersey City, New Jersey, resident posted on Craigslist. "Blizzard tryst and maybe more," advertised another lonely-heart from Manhattan.