WEATHER TRENDS AND HIGHLIGHTS (Week Ending February 27, 2016)
Mild and Wild! The Warmest End to February Since 2000 in the U.S. Drove Spring Purchasing. Severe Weather in the South and East Made for a Wet Week. Canada Warm and Wet Too.
Weekend Review: Above normal warmth persisted in the Plains, Rockies, and along the West Coast with high temperature records set in Chicago, Kansas City, Detroit, and Minneapolis. Colder than normal temperatures were focused in the Southeast. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic warmed to above normal levels on Sunday. Snow showers occurred across the Upper Midwest on Sunday while rain and mountain snow returned to the Pacific Northwest. Dry conditions remained across the Desert Southwest.
Spring Fever! Nationally, this was the warmest end to February since 2000 with all regions trending milder than LY. Warmest anomalies were in the West as the Pacific region was warmest since 1995 and the West North Central region was warmest since 2000. Phoenix had its warmest end to February since 1990; LA, San Diego, and San Francisco since 1992. In the East, NYC, Boston, and Philadelphia were warmest since 1998. Mild conditions got consumers thinking about and purchasing spring items.
Wet n’ Wild. Rainfall across the U.S. trended the most for the week since 1998. This was driven by eastern regions, including the Mid-Atlantic which had its wettest end to February since 1975, and the South Atlantic which was wettest since 1987. Baltimore and Philadelphia were wettest in over 55 years, Richmond since 1989, and Atlanta since 1997. Heavy rain drove demand for rainwear and wiper blades. While the East was wet, western regions were dry. Salt Lake City was driest since 1995, Denver since 2011.
Dark n’ Stormy. There were over 550 severe weather reports last week, which was the most since last July. The focus of these were mid-week along the Gulf Coast and Mid-Atlantic regions. This included 80 tornado reports, several of which brought significant damage and destruction. Hardest hit areas included portions of Virginia, Florida, and Louisiana. Tornadoes were reported as far north as Pennsylvania, which had its first confirmed February tornado since 1990. High winds extended into New England. Over 250,000 power outages were reported. Traffic into home centers increased to support clean-up efforts.
Snow Daze. While snowfall for week 4 of February was the lowest in the U.S. since 2000, several markets received snow. The Midwest was a focal point as Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, and Grand Rapids all recorded measurable snowfall.
The Maple Leaf is Budding. Signs of spring were in Canada as the nation had its warmest end to February since 2013. All major markets trended milder than LY. Edmonton and Calgary were warmest since 1995. Rainfall was the most to end February since 2009. Quebec City was wettest since 1985. While snowfall was reported in some markets, it was well below LY and normal.
For reference, last year was the coldest end to February in the U.S. in over 55 years. Snowfall was the least since 2009, while rainfall was above normal. Canada was warmest for the week since 2013, although cold temperatures were focused in the East. Rainfall was the most since 2013; snowfall the least since 2005.
Last Week’s Weather vs. Last Year (Week ending February 27, 2016)
WEATHER DRIVEN-DEMAND BY PRODUCT (Week Ending February 27, 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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