Business Weather Wrap-Up




No ‘Exaggerator’ Here! The Coolest 3rd Week of May in the U.S. Since 2011 & Canada Since 2009 Kept Seasonal Demand Out of the Race. Dry Conditions for Most Across NA.

Weekend Review: After beautiful weather late week, eastern states had cooler and wetter conditions for much of the weekend. Periods of rain along with high temperatures in the 50s and 60s did little to stimulate demand for seasonal categories. Conversely, interior regions were mostly on the drier side, along with a notable warming trend. Demand for BBQ’s, fertilizer, and outdoor plants was robust as a result. Scattered showers and thunderstorms were the rule on Sunday from Texas to Nebraska. While the Pacific Northwest and Rockies had an unsettled weekend, California and the Southwest had seasonable temperatures and dry conditions. Canada was cooler and occasionally stormy both East and West; warmer and drier in the Prairies.

Spring Late Getting Out of the Gate. Cool temperatures encompassed much of the country as only the West North Central and Mountain regions trended warmer vs. last year. Seasonal demand lagged as the West South Central had its coolest May week 3 since 1983. The New England, Mid-Atlantic, and East North Central regions all trended coolest since 2008, the South Atlantic region since 2009, and the East South Central region since 2011. Kansas City had its coolest 3rd week of May in 55+ years, St. Louis since 1968, and Dallas, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio were all coolest since 1983. Major eastern markets of New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore were all coolest since 2008, which limited demand for spring apparel and outdoor living.

Limited ‘Reign.’ The U.S. trended driest in 2 years. The New England and West North Central regions were both driest since 2009. Minneapolis had its least May week 3 rainfall since 1995, Boston since 2002, and Detroit and Chicago since 2009, allowing consumers to get outside despite the unseasonable temperatures. Conversely, the South Atlantic region trended wettest since 2010. Nashville and Philadelphia both had their most rainfall since 2001 and Charlotte and Richmond since 2003. Severe weather was limited with most reports stemming from high winds and hail across Texas and the Gulf Coast.

Canada Still Lagging Behind. The coolest 3rd week of May since 2002 in Montreal, 2005 in Quebec City, and 2008 in Toronto and Ottawa kept seasonal demand soft for many major markets in Canada. Conversely, Winnipeg trended warmest since 2011 and Halifax since 2012. Rainfall in Canada was the least since 2009, although Edmonton had its most in 55+ years.

For reference, last year, temperatures in the U.S. trended slightly below average and were coolest for the week since 2011. Rainfall was above normal and the most since 2013, focused in the Plains. Canada was coolest since 2009 and driest since 2010.

Last Week’s Weather vs. Last Year (Week ending May 21, 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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