Captain's Log 9 Sep '23 New England Hurricane Threat

Captain's Log
9 Sep 2023: Happy Saturday :)

Hard to believe it's already meteorological Fall (1 Sep - 30 Nov), but the weather certainly doesn't feel like fall for most. CLICK ON IMAGES FOR A LARGER VIEW.

log 1-min

This time of year, the leaves begin to change in the Rockies, Upper Midwest and New England. Dry areas over the past couple months are where the color could be a little better this year but leaves tend to go in stages limiting the overall burst of color. Wet areas in the West and Northeast are likely to peak later by a couple weeks.

log 2-min

Meteorological Summer (1 Jun - 31 Aug) is in the history books, and despite some heatwaves it was an overall cooler Summer in the U.S. and Europe compared to last year. The U.S. overall trended -0.8F cooler than a year ago, coolest in 4 years, but still 10th hottest of the past 38 years. These cooler trends resulted in a very slow start to Summer seasonal sales, excess inventory an overall weaker season. Rainfall was +5% wetter than a year ago for the U.S. overall, -1% below average and 17th driest of the past 38 years. Europe also trended cooler.

log 3-min

Hot 90F days across the U.S. so far in 2023 are trending down -14% vs last year, least in 4 years but still +17% above average and 7th most of the past 38 years.

log 4-min

Tornadoes are still up with 1,301 YTD which is +23% vs last year and +12% above average and the most in 4 years. This is a minor positive for home center storm merchandise sales but a drain on property insurance firms.

log 5-min

Drought is down from last year's worst conditions in 10 years when 64% of the U.S. was in dry to drought phases. This year 51% of the U.S. is in dry to drought phases (exactly average for this time of year), least in 4 years. The worst year for recent drought was 2012 and the wettest year 2019.

log 6-min

Last Week (3-9 Sep) World Summary shows the U.S. trending +2.2F warmer than last year and #1 warmest in over 38 years. It was also -57% drier than last year, driest in 18 years, 2nd driest in 38 years. These hot/dry trends are a huge negative for early Fall seasonal sales keeping the consumer in the Summer mindset. Much of the World was very hot, so the slowdown in Fall sales is widespread due in large part to the strengthening El Niño cycle that will peak late Fall.

log 7-min

The big weather news this week will be once CAT 5 Major Hurricane Lee about to make a right turn off the East Coast toward New England - Nova Scotia Canada. For now, models suggest a major hurricane is likely to pass West of Bermuda but off the East Coast with certain landfall next weekend between Cape Cod and Nova Scotia.

log 8-min

This area has been very wet as of late, wettest in 10 years in Maine and 2nd wettest in over 38 years for Nova Scotia so the flooding threat from Lee is not good timing. The compact wind field will expand outward as it approaches next weekend so Tropical Storm to strong CAT 1 or CAT 2 hurricane conditions likely. The entire U.S. East Coast will have large waves and some beach erosion impacts as well.

log 9-min

This Week (10-16 Sep) shows the U.S. cooling off a bit trending -0.6F cooler than last year, coolest in 3 years but still 16the warmest of the past 38 years. The cooler conditions in the Central and eventually Eastern U.S. will bring a minor uptick in sales for Fall categories. The heavy rain threat from Lee in New England next weekend and much needed rain in the Southern Plains. Overall U.S. rainfall down -9% vs last year, driest in 8 years and 9th driest of the past 38 years.

log 10-min

Next week (17-23 Sep) shows a return to a warmer pattern with building heat in the Northwest and Central U.S. The U.S. overall trends +0.8F warmer than last year, warmest in 6 years and 4th warmest of the past 38 years. Also -73% drier than a year ago making it the #1 driest in over 38 years. These are very negative trends for Fall seasonal merchandise sales resulting in excess inventory and ultimately steeper markdowns. On the positive side it's great weather for farmers starting Fall harvest. It's also good news as the delayed colder weather also delays the Flu season which will get off to a much slower start than last year's near record early surge that peaked in late November vs a more typical peak in late January.

log 11-min

The daily year-over-year temperature trends clearly show the "out-of-sync" weather pattern with much warmer conditions than last year when Sep - Oct was the coolest in 10 years. Some hope for early November, but merchandise will be discounted due to mounting inventory.

log 12-min

The World 2-week outlook (10-23 Sep) doesn't show a lot of good news for retailers and seasonal suppliers with warmer weather almost everywhere - a common theme of emerging El Niño Falls.

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