Business Weather Wrap-Up



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WEATHER TRENDS AND HIGHLIGHTS (Week Ending December 5, 2015)

‘Tis the Season! December Began Colder Than Last Year in the South & West, Aiding Seasonal Purchasing. Canada had its Least Snowfall to Start December in 55+ Years.  

Weekend Review: The weekend was rather tranquil for most in North America. After frosty mornings throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Great Lakes, daytime temperatures trended unseasonably warm. While conditions were not optimal to move winter merchandise, traffic into stores, malls, and restaurants was trouble-free. Much needed rain fell across southern Florida as well as in the Pacific Northwest. Heavy mountain snow fell in the Olympia, Cascade, and Sierra ranges.

Seasonal Demand Best in the South & West. Nationally, the first week of December trended coldest in two years, although near normal. The West South Central region had its coldest start to December since 2009. The East South Central and South Atlantic regions trended coldest in four years. Seasonal purchasing got a boost across Texas as Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio each had their coldest December week 1 since 2009. Raleigh and Richmond also benefitted, trending coldest since 2010. All major markets in California trended colder than LY, supporting demand for sweaters, boots, and hot consumables.

Oh, the Weather Outside is Pleasant. As consumers in the East continued to check off their holiday shopping lists, warmer and drier conditions vs. LY in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions aided traffic into retailers and restaurants. New York City had its driest start to December since 2011 and Pittsburgh was driest since 2006. Elsewhere, Indianapolis trended driest for December week 1 since 2002, Cincinnati since 2009; Sacramento, San Francisco, and Little Rock were each driest since 2011.

Miami Under Water. The wettest first week of December for Miami in over 55 years drove need-based purchasing while limiting overall store traffic. Wet conditions were also felt across Denver which had its most precipitation for week 1 of December since 1986. Baltimore and Charlotte were wettest since 2009.

A Little Bit of Snow. Snowfall across the U.S. trended significantly below normal, although slightly above LY for the first week of December. Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City all reported snowfall.

Least Canadian Snowfall in 55+ Years. The warmest start to December in 4 years led to the lowest recorded snowfall for December week 1 in over 55 years. Quebec City was the only major market to have a trace of snow. Winnipeg had its warmest first week of December since 1999, Calgary since 2004, and Vancouver since 2008. Halifax was the only major market to trend colder than LY, supporting seasonal purchasing. Rainfall was also below both last year and normal.

Last year the U.S. had it warmest first week of December since 2012. Rainfall was the most since 2010; snow was the least since 1998. Heavy rain in the West led to sinkholes and mudslides in California. Canada was coldest since 2007 and driest since 2003.

Last Week’s Weather vs. Last Year (Week ending December 5, 2015)



WEATHER DRIVEN-DEMAND BY PRODUCT (Week Ending December 5, 2015)

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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