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WEATHER TRENDS AND HIGHLIGHTS (Week Ending March 26, 2016)

Spring Demand Blossomed in the East, While the West Faced Cold Comps vs. LY. A Spring Blizzard in the Plains Cleared in Time for the Easter Bunny to Make His Appearance.

Holiday Weekend Review: Warmer than LY and normal conditions were east of the Mississippi, while cooler conditions vs. LY were west. The West Coast was spring-like, although cooler vs. LY, while the Northeast celebrated outdoors with warm and dry weather. Thunderstorms in the Southeast put a damper on Easter Sunday. The Easter bunny also got rained on in the Midwest and Northwest, while severe weather (mainly high winds) kept consumers indoors from northern Mississippi to central Indiana and Ohio.

Good Friday and Easter Recap. Good Friday was coldest in the U.S. and Canada since 2008. The U.S. was driest for the day since 2013, although snowiest since 2010. Canada was wettest since 2000; snowiest since 2008. Easter Sunday saw near average temperatures in the U.S. and was wettest since 2009. Canada was slightly colder than normal and wettest since 2012.

Spring East for Opportunity. Nationally, the U.S. was warmest for the week since 2012, driven by eastern locations. The East North Central and Mid-Atlantic regions were warmest since 2012, providing the strongest opportunity for spring goods. NYC and Philadelphia were warmest since 2010. Baltimore, Detroit, and Richmond were each warmest since 2012 and much warmer vs. LY.

Tough Comp South and West. The Pacific, Mountain, West South Central, and East South Central regions all trended colder vs. LY, providing challenging comps for spring lines. In the West, LA, San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Portland were all warmer vs. normal, but colder than LY. The Gulf states were colder than normal and LY; Houston coldest since 2006, San Antonio since 2010.

Mostly Dry. Nationally, it was the driest March week 4 since 2013. The Mid-Atlantic trended driest since 2006; South Atlantic and West South Central since 2012. Richmond was driest since 2004, Atlanta, Baltimore, Pittsburgh since 2007, Charlotte and Philadelphia since 2008. Conversely, Orlando had its wettest 4th week of March in 55+ years, Detroit since 1985, and Chicago since 1993. Severe weather was also active mid-week across the Gulf Coast & Mississippi Valley, mostly from hail and strong winds.

Spring Snow. A mid-week system brought significant snow and ice accumulations to portions of the Plains, Upper Midwest, and Great Lakes. On Wednesday, Denver saw blizzard conditions, reporting 13.1” of snow; its 5th most single day snowfall for March.

Canada: Warm & Wet East. Temperatures across Canada were warmest since 2013, although near average, with warmth vs. LY focused in eastern markets. Retail foot traffic slowed as Canada was wettest since 1972. Toronto had its wettest 4th week of March since 2002, Quebec City since 2004, and Montreal since 2010. Snowfall was well below normal and the least since 2013, despite a mid-week system which dropped significant snow and ice totals across southeastern markets. Ottawa was snowiest since 2004.

For reference, last year, the U.S. was warmest since 2012. Rainfall was below normal, with late season snow in the North. Easter fell a week later (4/5/15) and was coldest since 2008 with below normal rainfall. Canada was warmest since 2013 with below normal rainfall. Easter Sunday was coldest since 2008 and driest since 2010.

Last Week’s Weather vs. Last Year (Week ending March 26, 2016)

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WEATHER DRIVEN-DEMAND BY PRODUCT (Week Ending March 26, 2016)

Weather-Driven Demand (WDD) is the measured impact of weather on comp sales (“lift” or “drag”).  It is a numerical representation of the consumer need for a product or service caused by perceived changes in the weather at a time/location intersection.  It does not include any factors other than weather (e.g. price, competition, etc.)  WDD is expressed as percent change from the previous year, either favorable (positive) or unfavorable (negative) for each product or service. 

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