Captain's Log 18 Nov '23: Dare we say it...Nor'easters?

Captain's Log
18 Nov '23: Happy Saturday! :)

A ton to cover today but we'll start with an El Niño update, just one of dozens of climate cycles that influence the weather ahead. The Equatorial Pacific Ocean temperatures are just about to peak and then expect a complete collapse going into 2024. CLICK ON IMAGES FOR A LARGER VIEW.

LOG 1-min

We're not fans of traditional meteorological techniques like the "analog" concept of lining up oceanic/atmospheric climate cycles to project the season ahead. But this year the process lines up with our year-ahead statistical/24-climate cycle trend approach with a similar answer. That answer suggests a colder/stormier South and East Coast with a milder/drier Northwest.

LOG 2-min

This time last year the U.S. was at a 20-year high for drought coverage with 85% of the U.S. in dry to drought phases vs only 56% this year, a 4-year low. This will continue to dramatically improve through Winter.

LOG 3-min

The 2023 Severe Weather season is just about in the history books, and it was a moderately active year with tornadoes the most in 4 years, hail the most in 11 years and wind events the most in 12 years. LOG 4-min

Unfortunately, WTI is expecting an even more severe season in 2024 with the strong El Nino sub-tropical Jet Stream and frequent cold fronts into May.

LOG 5-minWTI is projecting $288B in 2024 disasters tracked by NOAA with drought the only category to be down. The biggie will be hurricane damage.

LOG 6-min

Now back to the near term. Last Week (12-18 Nov) across the World was a hot one with the U.S. trending a very significant +14.8F warmer than last year, #1 warmest in 0ver 38 years. Rainfall was -2% drier than last year and 9th driest of the past 38 years, while snowfall was almost none with -99% less snow than last year and #1 least in 38 years for the 260 U.S. cities. These are very negative trends for retailers and seasonal merchandise suppliers. The cold spots were in China and Australia where their Spring has been the driest in over 38 years.

LOG 7-min

This week (19-25 Nov) will be a bit of a roller coaster ride with a warm start but a colder finish for Thanksgiving and Black Friday. The U.S. overall trends +2.6F warmer than last year, warmest in 3 years and 12th warmest of the past 38 years. Snowfall up +33% vs last year, but still 11th least in 38 years. Rainfall up +31%, most in 3 years and 19th wettest of the past 38 years with some travel headaches the days leading up to Thanksgiving in the East.

LOG 8-min

The good news is the Thanksgiving - Black Friday weekend (23-26 Nov) is in a favorable spot of colder weather. WTI's Power of 1 Degree technology shows seasonal sales getting a much-needed boost after a warm start to November. Sales up +13% for items like hot coffee, hot cereal, Jeans. Bird seed up +19%, Antifreeze and Women's Outerwear up +32% with Electric Bedding the biggest winner with +144% increase in sales for this gift category.

LOG 14-min

The other good news this Thanksgiving is a -47% decrease in Flu activity. This is a benefit to store traffic. Recall the huge surge in Type A flu that was the most in over 20 years. Not this year. WTI is expecting a slower "dome-like" pattern this year with the traditional peak in January and then slowly diminishing in March.

LOG 15-min

The 6-day snowfall outlook (18-23 Nov) might look like a lot, but it's actually -63% less than last year across 260 U.S. cities, 10th least in 38 years, -56% below average with 29% of U.S. cities getting some snow.

LOG 9-min

Next Week (26 Nov - 2 Dec) sure looks like an El Niño Winter pattern with the potential for the first Nor'easter snow event for the Central Appalachians into the Northeast. TBD if this 28-30th storm will be as big a snow maker as models currently hint at. The week overall is more favorable for seasonal sales, especially in the South and East with national temperatures trending -0.7F colder than last year, coldest in 3 years and 16th warmest in 38. National snowfall down -36% vs last year and 8th least in 38 years but TBD on the East Coast snow event. Rainfall down -32% vs last year, 16th driest in 38 years but a bigger rain event for the drought parched South. The drought in the South will be eliminated in the next couple months.

LOG 10-min

The World 2-week Outlook (19 Nov - 2 Dec) shows the cold spot limited to the Northeast U.S., Southeast Canada, Eastern and Northern Europe and NW Russia.

LOG 11-min

These same areas look to be the snowiest as well.

LOG 12-min

Christmas is just 37 days away, but don't expect the extremely cold and snowy conditions of a year ago. A briefly warmer late December week will have huge downward trends for seasonal merchandise that had triple digit sales gains a year ago.

LOG 16-min

These lost sales will get pushed into January and February with a longer colder/snowier back half of Winter but at steeper markdowns.

LOG 13-min

Winter snowfall outlook shows a classic Nor'easter type cycle for the East Coast and the risk for ice/snow events in the Deep South. Overall snowfall is projected to be the most in 10 years nationally, +17% vs last year and +12% above average. The less snowy spots will be in the Northwest half of the country.

Have a great Thanksgiving! Don't forget to follow us on social media for frequent updates: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Linkedin.

- Captain Kirk out