Happy President's Day Monday! :)
Winter had been relatively tame through January but that certainly changed here in February. CLICK ON IMAGES FOR A LARGER VIEW.
so far is the most in 7 years, 21% more than last year and 46% above average. February snow has certainly helped to clear out snow accessory merchandise. But, seasonal snowfall
since September is still trending 6% less than last year and 6% below average - the least in 5 years for the U.S. overall.
With a piece of the Polar Vortex camped out in the North Central U.S.
(near historic cold for this time of year), storm systems have been like a parade traversing the periphery of the vortex. This has brought heavy snow and ice to the Deep South, with major disruptions to travel and retail sales.
This past week (6-15 Feb) has brought temperatures 8.4F colder than last year making this week at least the coldest in over 36 years
and very likely the coldest in 125+ years for the U.S. overall. This is a big negative for early Spring merchandise sales that did well in February and March last year. Spring apparel likely down 25% or more YOY while the winners would be Winter related merchandise on clearance - Soup +8%, Coffee +17%, Bird Seed +25%, Energy Consumption (bad news for consumer discretionary income) +42%. Auto Batteries +59%, fire logs 67%, portable heaters +84% and at least triple digit sales gains for ice melt.
While the Vortex is about to exit the U.S. for the later week of February
, the YOY trends still show tough comparable trends to last year when it was such a warm February and March. This suggests retail sales will be slow to move for early Spring merchandise.
Last week (7-13 February)
showed the U.S. trending 10F colder than last year, coldest in 32 years with much below average temperatures. While 24% drier than last year and driest in 5 years, it was still a bit above average. Snowfall was 38% more than last year and 9th most in 36 years for the U.S. overall.
Canada was pretty much coast-to-coast cold in the heart of the Polar Vortex with the coldest conditions in over 36 years. Europe and Russia were the coldest in 9 years as was Australia down under in their Summer. China was the warm spot trending warmest in 12 years.
This week (15-21 February)
the U.S. looks to trend 9F colder than last year, coldest in 6 years and 2nd coldest in 36 years. A very stormy week with rainfall the most in 23 years while snowfall and ice is off the charts trending most in 36+ years.
A parade of storm
s will continue to plague the periphery of the Vortex from the Rocky Mountains to the Deep South into the Northeast.
Next week (22-28 February)
shows the vortex lifting out with a milder and drier pattern returning. The U.S. overall looks to trend +0.5F warmer than last year, warmest in 3 years and 10th warmest of the past 36 years with above average national temperatures. A less stormy pattern with the driest conditions in 23 years and least snow in 21 years...many of us will welcome the change!
The overall 2-week World aggregate
shows a warming trend across Europe with the Polar Vortex parking over Southwest and Central Russia.
Have a great week and don't forget to follow us on social media for frequent updates:
- Captain Kirk out.