Business Weather Wrap-Up





Fore! Mother Nature Bogeyed the First Week of April as the U.S. Trended Coldest Since 2009 & Canada Coldest Since 1997. An Ace for the West as Warmth Drove Spring Demand.

Weekend Review: Winter made a comeback in the East with near record low temperatures and late season snowfall across parts of the Great Lakes, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions. The colder vs. LY and normal trend persisted into Sunday. The Southwest began warm but shifted to a cooler vs. LY trend with sporadic showers. On Saturday Las Vegas had its 3rd wettest April day on record. Meanwhile, demand for spring items was swinging in the Pacific Northwest with warmer and drier conditions vs. LY.

The East Missed the Cut. Demand for spring apparel and warm weather consumables choked in the East as cooler than normal and LY conditions took hold. The Mid-Atlantic and East North Central regions were coolest since 1982, New England since 1995, the South Atlantic since 2007, and the East South Central since 2009. The West South Central and West North Central regions were par for the course, but also cooler vs. LY. Detroit and Buffalo were coolest since 1982, Boston since 1995, and Chicago since 1997. Baltimore, Indianapolis, Charlotte, and Philadelphia were all coolest since 2007; Atlanta, Houston, and Miami since 2009.

Nice Stroke! April teed off with warmer than normal and LY conditions in the West, driving demand for outdoor activities. The Pacific region was warmest since 1989; Seattle & Portland, OR in 55+ years, San Francisco since 1989. The Mountain region was 4th warmest in 55 years. Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City were all warmer vs. LY and top 10 warmest in 55+ years.

Below Par! The U.S. was driest since 2004, with almost all regions drier vs. LY. The West South Central was driest since 1998. The only regions to trend wetter vs. LY were New England and the Mountain region; wettest since 2009 and 2013 respectively. Boston was wettest since 2009; LA and San Diego since 2012. Phoenix finally broke its 66 day rain-free streak and was wettest since 2011.

Golf Balls or Snowballs? Late season snowfall in eastern markets stifled demand for warm weather consumables and resulted in the snowiest first week of April since 2013. Cleveland had its most snow for the week since 1982, Boston since 1996, Philadelphia since 2004, Buffalo since 2005, and Detroit & Chicago since 2009. Conversely, the Mountain region had its least snow since 1985. In addition, severe weather was concentrated on Wednesday in the Mid-South and Southeast, including 14 tornado reports.

Canadian Slice. The coldest conditions since 1997 drove spring demand into a sand trap. Ottawa, Quebec City, and Toronto were all coldest since 1982; Montreal since 1995. Conversely, seasonal demand soared in the West with Calgary warmest since 1977, Edmonton since 1985, and Vancouver since 1996. Conditions were wetter than LY and snowiest since 1999. Late season snowfall was focused in the East; Toronto snowiest in 55+ years, Ottawa since 2000, Winnipeg since 2001, and Montreal since 2007.

For reference, last year, April began with warmer than normal temperatures; the warmest conditions were focused in the South. Rainfall was above normal. Severe weather was widespread with over 30 tornadoes impacting the Midwest. Canada was coolest for the week since 2013. Rainfall was above normal but the least since 2012, while snowfall was below normal but the most since 2013.

Last Week’s Weather vs. Last Year (Week ending April 9, 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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