Weather Trends - October 2006
-- Casual Living, 11/14/2006 5:51:00 AM
Cooling trend continues
OCTOBER 2006: A year ago, October ranked as the 17th hottest in 111 years of national weather records with the Northeast having the wettest October on record. This was still the second straight year with a cooling trend from the exceptionally warm October observed in 2003. A cold snap late in the month along with steeper markdowns helped to lift retail same store sales to their highest levels in six years.
The cooling trend should continue for the third straight year with the coolest October since 2002. A cool snap in the middle of October will help spur demand for indoor furniture categories as consumers come to grips with a much earlier end to the outdoor living season than last year. The exceptions are in Florida and Southern California where a drier weather pattern will help to extend the season. Nationally the month is expected to be the driest in three years which will help store traffic, especially in the Northeast where record flooding last year curtailed some sales despite the warm weather.
The next big weather media blitz will be on the strengthening El Nino (warmer than usual water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean) that will bring big changes to global weather patterns. We expect this will become the strongest such event in 10 years which could hurt the outdoor furniture categories across the South well into 2007.
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