Captain's Log 2 Dec '23 Warmer & Wetter Tough for Seasonal Sales

Captain's Log
2 Dec '23: Happy Saturday! :)

Can you believe there are only 22 days until Christmas? The pattern ahead looks to be warm and stormy (wet vs white) into middle December. CLICK ON IMAGES FOR A LARGER VIEW

log 1-min

El Niño looks to be near peak with a gradual weakening trend through Winter and even La Niña like conditions returning by Summer 2024. This will create a very volatile weather cycle in 2024. The atmosphere does appear as though it's finally responding to the warm waters in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean creating a wetter Northern Hemisphere pattern.

log 2-min

Season-to-date U.S. snowfall is trending -38% less than last year, -32% below average and 9th least in 38 years. We did add some heavier snow to the Central Plains in OK and KS and more in New England. Even the high summits (above 13,000 feet) in Hawaii are getting heavy snow.

log 3-min

Flu cases also trending -47% less than last year's very fast start. Last year late November was the peak for Flu and the fastest most intense spike in 13 years, not this year. Flu is more likely to be a slower dome type season with a peak in January and then steadily declining into March. Flu pattern very similar to what happened in Australia.

log 4-min

Last week (26 Nov - 2 Dec) across the World shows the U.S. trending -1.9F colder than last year, coldest in 5 years and 19th coldest of the past 38 years. Rainfall was -14% drier than last year but still 17th wettest of the past 38 years while snowfall was +1% vs a year ago, most in 4 years but 14th least of the past 38 years. These were continued favorable weather trends for Fall - Winter seasonal merchandise sales that started around Thanksgiving. The U.K. was the most favorable spot for cold seasonal merchandise trending coldest in 13 years and 3rd coldest of the past 38.

log 5-min

The Polar Vortex is relatively strong and that's keeping the Arctic air bottled up across Eastern Europe and much of Southern Siberia. It's likely to weaken in late December and that will allow for colder weather to invade North America.

log 6-min

This week (3-9 Dec) shows a big warming trend with the U.S. trending +2.2F warmer than last year, warmest in 8 years and 4th warmest of the past 38 years. This will result in a slow down for Winter merchandise. Snowfall down -41% vs last year, least in 11 years and 5th least of the past 38 years, while rainfall is also down -13% vs last year and 11th driest of the past 38. Milder/Drier trends are favorable for store traffic, gift and food category sales, not so for cold seasonal merchandise.

log 7-min

The 6-day snowfall (2-7 Dec) shows the U.S. trending -47% vs last year, least in 8 years, 4th least in 38 years and -75% below average with only 23% of the U.S. getting some snow.

log 8-min

Next week (10-16 Dec) shows a continued warm pattern but very stormy (wet vs white). National temperatures trend +2.7F warmer than a year ago, 5th warmest in 38 years. Snowfall down a whopping -82% vs last year, least in 5 years and 6th least of the past 38, while rainfall is +23% more than a year ago and #1 wettest of the past 38 years. A stormier pattern favors e-commerce sales over brick-and-mortar stores.

log 9-min

The last two months of 2023 show the colder start to November, coldest Black Friday in 10 years and now a moderating trend into Christmas. The huge surge in Winter seasonal sales the week before Christmas last year won't happen again this year. Strong double-digit declines in seasonal merchandise sales expected. The next surge is likely in late December into late January.

log 10-min

The World 2-week outlook (3-16 Dec) shows the very cold air over Siberia, while the Northern Hemisphere is very warm by December standards. That cold air in Siberia is likely to head our way around Christmas into New Years.

log 11-min

Snowfall of 12-18" across Southern Siberia, Eastern Canada, high elevations of the Rockies and parts of China.

We hope you have a great week ahead, and don't forget to follow us on social media for frequent updates: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Linkedin.

- Captain Kirk out