Business Weather Wrap-Up




WEATHER TRENDS AND HIGHLIGHTS (Week Ending April 23, 2016)

Let’s Go Crazy! Warmest 3rd Week of April Since 1990 in the U.S., 2007 in Canada, Kicked Spring Purchasing Into High Gear. Historic Houston Flooding Drove Need-Based Purchasing.

Weekend Review: After lingering showers along the East Coast early Saturday, the weather dried out for the remainder of the weekend. Temperatures trended above normal and LY for most in North America, primarily in the East. Combined with dry weather, demand for outdoor categories was robust. While cooler in the West against the recent heat, it was still warmer than LY for most. Scattered showers fell across the Intermountain West and extended north into western Canada and east through the Northern Plains and upper Midwest. Hot and dry weather in the South supported early demand for summer categories.

Put the Top Down on the ‘Little Red Corvette.’ Spring temperatures were in full swing as the U.S. had its warmest week 3 of April since 1990. Warmth supported demand for spring categories including lawn & garden, apparel, and consumables such as allergy relief, suncare, and cold drinks. All regions trended warmer than LY. Of particular note, the Pacific region had its warmest week 3 of April in over 55 years. San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, OR were all warmest in over 55 years. LA was warmest since 1997. Further east, NYC, St. Louis, and Cincinnati were all warmest since 1990. Cooler temperatures to LY were focused in Florida, Texas, the Gulf Coast, and the Rockies.

No ‘Purple Rain.’ The week trended drier than LY for many markets supporting traffic into retailers, restaurants, and home centers. Buffalo had its driest week 3 of April in over 55 years. Seattle was driest since 1987, Nashville since 1999, St. Louis since 2006, and Boston and Cleveland since 2008.

Houston Flooding: More Than a ‘Kiss’ of Rain. While most of the country was drier than LY, Houston experienced its wettest 3rd week of April in over 55 years. Severe flooding occurred when over 9 inches of rain fell on April 18th, making it the second most rainfall recorded on any day of Houston’s history. Up to 20 inches fell in select locations around the city. Clean-up efforts continue and demand for need-based items soared throughout the week. Elsewhere in the South Central region, Oklahoma City had its wettest week 3 in over 55 years and Dallas was wettest since 1962.

Warmth in Canada a ‘Sign O’ The Times.’ All major markets in Canada trended warmer than LY, driving demand for spring categories. Vancouver had its warmest week 3 of April in over 55 years. Calgary was warmest since 1980, Toronto since 2008, Montreal since 2010. Rainfall was the least for week 3 of April since 2010. Halifax was driest since 1997; Toronto since 2010.

For reference, last year, temperatures in the U.S. trended cooler than normal, particularly in New England and the Great Lakes. It was the wettest week 3 of April since 1979. Canada was coolest since 2011. Rainfall was much above normal and the most since 2012.

Last Week’s Weather vs. Last Year (Week ending April 23, 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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