– This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on January 22, Friday.
Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.
The recent El Nino climate phenomenon is likely to leave some of its strongest marks on North America this winter and early spring, according to the most recent forecast issued by the Climate Prediction Center at the National Weather Service.
The official metric the CPC uses to track El Nino is the Oceanic Nino Index, which tracks sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. This year's El Nino ONI readings are roughly equal to temperatures from the 1997-98 El Nino, which brought a small but measurable boost to GDP of between 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent, according to a report released by economic research firm IHS Global Insight on Wednesday.
The report calls for similar effects this time around.
However, temperatures in the Pacific Ocean may have already peaked and are showing signs of COOLING, which would indicate that the ongoing El Nino has already reached its apex.
If cold weather returns, how will that impact the global economy?
The job market will get a hit first, and the lower-than-expected 2013 Dec non-farm payroll is a good example.
According to a CNBC survey in 2014, severe winter weather of that winer may cost the economy as much $50 billion and 76,000 jobs.
A CNBC Fed Survey of 19 Wall Street economists, strategists and fund managers put the total weather impact at about a third of a percentage point on the $16 trillion US economy, or roughly $50 billion.
How correlative between the weather and the economy remains debatable, but some reports also show the cold DOES appear to bite into hiring.
Figures from Bank of America Merrill Lynch show that over the past 10 years variations in December temperatures can account for half of the variation in employment gains.
According to the report, cold in the first quarter hurts the economy more than cold in the fourth quarter. They calculate that every one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) below normal in the quarter has been associated with a 1.5 percentage point decrease in GDP since 2004.
Still, economists aren't good at accounting for the weather, whether warmer or colder than usual.
On average, temperatures in December that are one degree below the historical norm have led to the month's nonfarm payrolls tally falling 38,000 below the consensus, they note.
Not everything is negative in a snow storm, however. There may be some winners.
Warm clothes and winter jacket sellers will benefit from the coldness, by lowering their inventories.
However, while other clothes shops are stocking their spring collections, they will have to postpone their spring plans.
Energy sector will probably get a boost as well, with use of electricity and heating systems surging.
Meanwhile, historical data also show that hot chocolate and energy bar makers are also bigger winners.
Related companies of above sectors will be watched closely by traders and investors, when the real winter comes.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.