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Expect colder and wetter conditions

Last February was very mild and the third warmest of more than 21 years for the United States as a whole. Precipitation was the fourth least in more than 21 years and snowfall was the fifth least in 20 years. The weather was milder and drier in warmer climates, such as the Southeast and Southwest, which would have been beneficial for outdoor living categories. The South Central portion of the nation was rather wet with the third wettest February in more than 21 years with a pick-up in severe weather activity toward the second half of the month.
     This month, the forecast calls for temperatures to be much closer to normal along the East Coast and colder than last year. A wide swath of the Plains, from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast, will be both colder than last year and normal.
     Also, the weather will be much stormier this month with more snow expected, especially from the Ohio Valley through the Northeast. Outdoor living categories will see lighter demand than last year because of colder and wetter weather this year. However, there may be an early taste of spring from Texas to Southern California midmonth.

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