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Snow and cold keep consumers under wraps

Weather Report

Snow is expected to be much more of a factor this month than last February, which brought the least amount of snowfall in seven years for the nation as a whole.

February 2009 was the nation’s warmest in four years and the third warmest in 10 years. Precipitation in general was down 38% from 2008, making 2009 the driest February in more than 13 years. Horrific consumer confidence and trouble on Wall Street were balanced out by much more favorable weather. The warmer, drier and less snowy conditions all helped to bring in higher than expected retail sales.

More precipitation and colder weather will lead to an increase in snowfall for February 2010, making this the snowiest February since 2003. Fortunately, most of the snowfall will occur in one or two major snow events rather than several smaller storms.

Early spring categories will be much weaker across the majority of the nation as cold and snowy conditions keep consumers in a winter mindset. Florida will be wetter than last year but precipitation will still trend below normal, which is good news for early spring categories.

Weather Trends International
Jack Grum, vice president

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