Business Weather Wrap-Up




And We’re Off… Spring Demand Stumbled With the Coolest Start to May in the U.S. Since 2011. Wet Conditions vs. Last Year Limited Traffic During the Run-Up to Mom’s Big Day.

Mother’s Day Weekend Review: Spring-like temperatures made Mom’s weekend extra special from the Pacific Northwest and Rockies through the Northern Plains into central Canada. Temperatures remained cool vs. LY east of the Mississippi to start the weekend, but warmer conditions moved into eastern regions on Sunday, just in time to celebrate Mom. Drier than normal conditions across the Southeast and Gulf Coast supported traffic into restaurants over the holiday weekend. Mother’s Day in the U.S. was coolest and driest since 2013. In Canada, Mother’s Day trended coolest since 2011 and wettest since 2013.

Spring, Quit Horsing Around! All regions, except the Mountain and Pacific, trended cooler than LY as the U.S. had its coolest start to May since 2011. The Mid-Atlantic and New England regions were each coolest since 2005. Boston had its coolest May week 1 in over 55 years, New York City was coolest since 1978, and Las Vegas since 2003. Philadelphia, Richmond, and Houston were all coolest since 2005, keeping spring demand soft during the first week of retail Q2.

Rain Reigns. Nationally, it was the wettest start to May in 3 years. The South Atlantic region trended wettest since 1989, driven by the Sunshine State which didn’t quite live up to its name. Miami had its wettest May week 1 since 1977, Tampa since 1979, and Orlando since 1980. Further north, Richmond had its wettest start to May in 55+ years and Raleigh since 1989, creating challenging conditions for outdoor activities. The West also saw showers as Las Vegas had its wettest start to May since 1983 and Los Angeles since 1998. Additionally, there were over 500 severe weather reports driven by early week wind and hail in the East.

Canada: The East Never Left the Stable. Temperatures in Canada were cooler than LY but warmer than normal. Tough comps were felt throughout major markets in the East including Halifax, coolest since 2000 as well as Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City which were all coolest since 2011. Western locations faired best for spring demand as Calgary and Edmonton had their warmest start to May in 55+ years and Winnipeg was warmest since 2007. Nationally, rainfall was the least since 2008. Winnipeg was driest since 1987, Quebec City since 2007. Conversely, Halifax was wettest since 2005, inhibiting overall traffic.

For reference, last year, the U.S. had its warmest start to May since 2007. Rainfall was near normal and severe weather was active in the Plains. Mother’s Day was the warmest since 2004. Canada was warmer and drier than normal for the week. Mother’s Day in Canada was also warmer than normal.

Last Week’s Weather vs. Last Year (Week ending May 7, 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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