In The News

  

“Which City Has the Most Unpredictable Weather?”

“Which City Has the Most Unpredictable Weather?” is an article published on FiveThirtyEight that takes an interesting look at weather volatility across metro areas across the U.S., considering the unpredictability of temperatures, precipitation, and severe weather for each location.

Based on FiveThirtyEight’s scale, Rapid City, SD secured the top spot for the “Unpredictability Index” with a score of 84. Conversely, Honolulu, HI was the most predictable with a score of 30. Looking at major cities, Kansas City had the highest level of index at 76, while at the other end of the scale, San Diego registered a 31.

For many, these top and bottom rankings come as no surprise. What may be more eye-opening for retailers and other businesses that sell to consumers is the fact that the influence of weather changes on purchasing decisions is generally as significant in San Diego as it is in Kansas City and everywhere in between.

How is this possible? Planalytics’ work with businesses (we’ve analyzed trillions of sales transactions for over 40,000 products/services) shows that people acclimate to where they live and how they react to changes in temperatures, rain, snow, etc. is not the same as a person in another city. It really is all “relative” when looking at the weather’s influence on buying decisions.

As an example, let’s look at how weather-sensitive sales for Fleece are in different cities during the month of November. Some of these cities experience a high degree of weather variability and some see decidedly less. (Note: Planalytics’ measure or weather sensitivity indicates the percentage of a category’s sales that are directly related to changes in the weather.)

Between 14% and 17% of Fleece sales are weather sensitive in Kansas City (Unpredictability Index or UI = 76), Memphis (UI = 72), Phoenix (UI = 38), and Los Angeles (UI = 35). Minneapolis (UI = 74) and San Diego (UI = 31) – two cities with very different November climates – both see 10% of Fleece sales directly tied to the weather.

The bottom line for consumer-based businesses is that – like politics – all weather and its impact on purchasing is LOCAL. Just because from a pure stats standpoint the weather doesn’t change much in some western markets or Florida metros, doesn’t mean it isn’t significant from a consumer demand and sales perspective. Five degrees cooler may be barely noticed in Detroit but a shock to the system in Las Vegas.

Visit Planalytics to learn how weather-driven demand changes can be precisely quantified, enabling businesses to proactively plan for and manage sales opportunities and risks, better align inventories with shifting demand, and improve profitability.

To read the original article, Click Here.