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WEATHER TRENDS AND HIGHLIGHTS (Week Ending February 13, 2016)

A Cold Week vs. LY, Punctuated by a Frigid Weekend in the East, Drove Winter Clearance. Cupid Bundled-Up as Valentine’s Day was Colder Than Normal Across North America.

Weekend Review: While conditions were mainly dry, frigid temperatures and dangerous wind chills settled in to the eastern states. Demand for heaters, hot foods and beverages, and winter apparel clearance was very strong. Meanwhile, it was considerably warmer from the Plains to the West Coast although scattered storms brought moisture across the northern tier. A band of light snow moved through the Midwest on Sunday. Valentine’s Day in the U.S. was coldest since 2007, with below normal rain and above normal snow. In Canada, while the eastern provinces shivered, the Prairies and West enjoyed a milder trend. Valentine’s Day in Canada was colder than normal but warmer than the frigid temperatures last year. Valentine’s Day snowfall was least in 55+ years.

The West Cooled Off vs. Last Year. While the western half of the country came in colder than last year, temperatures were warmer than normal. The Pacific region had its second warmest February week 2 in over 55 years. Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, and Portland, OR all had their warmest second week of February in 55+ years, increasing early spring demand.

No Escape From Winter in the South. Much of the East experienced colder than last year and normal temperatures in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day. The South Atlantic region was coldest since 2010. Miami, Charlotte, and Raleigh were all coldest since 1995, Orlando and Tampa since 2010, and Atlanta and Nashville since 2011. The South Atlantic drove sales of blankets and fleece whereas portions of the Northeast came in warmer than last year, dampening demand for winter goods.

Put Away the Umbrella. Last week boasted the least precipitation in over 55 years for the U.S. The West South Central and Mountain regions were each driest in 55+ years, South Atlantic since 1987, and Mid-Atlantic since 2004. Demand for wet weather categories including rainwear and wiper blades was significantly down across the country.

A Sparkly White Band. Nationally, snowfall was below average for the week, although particular cities did receive notable snow amounts as a band of snow made its way from the Central Plains to the Northeast. Nashville received its most snow since 2003, Cleveland since 2007, and Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis since 2010, boosting demand for snow removal items.

Mild and Wet in Canada. Canada was warmer than last year and above average, inhibiting demand for cold-weather products such as sweaters and hot drinks. Calgary had its warmest second week of February since 1984 and Edmonton since 2002. Despite the country having less snowfall than last year, amounts did trend above normal with most major markets recording measurable snowfall. Halifax received its most snow since 1973.

For reference, last year, the U.S. was warmest for the week since 2009, rainfall was the least since 2002, and snowfall was near normal. Valentine’s Day in the U.S. was coldest in 5 years, driven by the East. In Canada, temperatures were colder than normal for the week. Valentine’s Day was coldest since 2003 with below normal rain and snow.

Last Week’s Weather vs. Last Year (Week ending February 13, 2016)

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WEATHER DRIVEN-DEMAND BY PRODUCT (Week Ending February 13, 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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