WTI expects April 2014 to trend the coldest in five years and drier than last year for the U.S. as a whole. Warmer year-on-year temperature trends in the Central states will be sandwiched in between colder trends on the East and West coasts. A more active severe weather season than last year in the South Central states can be expected, especially across parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Storm cleanup supplies and plastic sheeting will see increased demand in harder hit areas. There is the potential for a hard frost and freeze through late in the month in the Northeast, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, which could damage tender vegetation in garden centers. Following another cold March, the start of the season for many spring categories will fall into the retail April month in the East, except for the Deep South where spring has already sprung. Although the weeks before Easter on the East Coast will trend colder than last year, most of the colder trends will fall on the weekdays while the weekends look more favorable helping to drive holiday apparel and footwear demand. Drier trends in Florida and the Midwest will be beneficial for store traffic and outdoor categories, but wetter weather in the Southwest and South Central states will inhibit traffic at times.
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