WAYNE, Pa. - Of the 96 major metro areas in the United States tracked by Planalytics (www.planalytics.com), 66 percent experienced temperatures greater than 85 degrees over the Memorial Day weekend. According to the company, that distribution represents the most widespread outbreak of early summer weather during a Memorial Day weekend in 10 years. As a comparison, the 2005 weekend had the least favorable weather in the past 10 years.

However, while the month ended strong, the rapid return to summer-like weather came on the heels of an abnormally cool and wet period in the Midwest and Northeast.

According to Paul Walsh, senior business meteorologist at Planalytics, "While the macro-level weather-driven demand environment in May remained positive, there were several counter signals that we believe would have muted the positive year-over-year impact on retail spending."

The biggest negative weather impact in May was the positive impact of the weather in April. The strong warming that occurred during Easter week in April likely pulled some sales forward out of May and into April.

Combine that with the wet weather in the Northeast and Midwest during the second half of the month, and the May weather-driven demand picture becomes decidedly mixed, despite the fact it was the eighth warmest May in 59 years.

Publication date: 06/05/2006