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Weather Trends - February 2007

There will be a winter this year The early to middle February period will bring another strong nationwide cold surge similar to what occurred in mid January to be followed by a predominantly warmer pattern for the balance of February. The weaker El Nino (warming of the Pacific Ocean that changes global weather patterns) also adds an increased likelihood of a couple of major snow storms in the Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast in February. While winter got off to a slow start through early January, there will be winter this year. The weather around Valentine's Day is expected to trend warmer but much wetter and snowier than last year which unfortunately is a negative for store traffic and early spring sales. The last really cold and snowy February was in 2003 and retail same-store sales that year were the worst in 20 years. It's not that bad this year but the second-weakest sales gain in 10 years is possible for the retail industry due to the inclement conditions. The mountains of the West, Midwest and Great Lakes are expected to have twice as much snowfall as last year with half as much in the Upper Plains and the Northeast coastline. The late February period and President's Day holiday should bring warmer temperatures, promising better sales of early spring merchandise. Again the El Nino event will bring one of the warmest, wettest winter-springs in at least four years, which dampens demand for outdoor merchandise. Parts of the Deep South will have the best overall conditions with warmer and drier weather.

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jgrum@survdata.com
www.wxtrends.com



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