Children run along the National Mall as snow begins to fall in Washington, D.C.


Weather forecasting firm Planalytics said in its December weather impact report that colder temperatures in the Eastern U.S. bolstered sales of outerwear for apparel retailers. The researchers estimate “that weather boosted this sector’s sales by $309 million (versus last December) in just the markets east of the Mississippi River alone.”

The $309 million gain is an upwardly revised estimate from a prior estimate of $273 million.

The report was released as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate prediction center is expecting colder than normal temperatures over the next two weeks. In a report earlier this month, market data showed that colder temperatures were driving sales of bomber jackets, peacoats and parkas.

Researchers at Planalytics said “certain heavily populated markets saw very large year-over-year increases. Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Richmond and Raleigh were up from 1.1 to 4.7 percent versus [last year],” while, conversely, on the West Coast, “retailers saw unfavorable comp performance due to the warmer temperatures.”

The firm said it was worth noting that sales of sporting goods were also up on an year-over-year basis. “These more favorable conditions came directly after a very warm November — the warmest in 55 years,” the analysts said in their report. “The abrupt change in temperatures propelled shoppers into the holiday mind-set even more, increasing demand for outerwear, winterwear (hats/gloves/scarves), boots and sweaters.”

Regarding snow conditions, the analysts at Planalytics said the northern tier of the U.S. “saw increased snow versus [last year], with select markets in the Midwest and Northeast seeing measurable snow during Super Saturday weekend.”

In the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report, researchers at the center expect colder weather across most of the U.S. over the next eight to 14 days with the Pacific Northwest seeing the sharpest below-normal temperatures. The lower reaches of Florida and the northern regions of Alaska are expected to experience higher-than-normal temperatures.

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