Expectations cool down (in spots) for July

Temperatures in July 2013 will be much cooler than last year across the North Central United States, and retailers are going to feel the impact.

That's part of the forecast from Bethlehem, Pa.-based Weather Trends International.

While temperatures frequently crested the 100-degree mark last year, temperatures will be even warmer than last year in the South and along the West Coast.

In the East Coast, residents can expect weather that's warmer than normal, but cooler than a year ago, according to the Weather Trends forecast.

Showers and storms will be more frequent across the Plains this year, easing drought concerns. The trend will also increase the need for cleanup categories to handle any subsequent wind damage and flash flooding.

Cooler weather in the North Central states is expected to boost year-over-year outdoor categories, as extreme heat last year drove more consumers indoors into climate-controlled areas — as opposed to spending time on their decks and patios.

Tropical activity will be subdued for much of the month of July. However, at the end of the month the odds increase dramatically for at least one storm to form. The highest probability of landfall lies somewhere from Florida to New Orleans. The most likely cause of damage will be flooding, as storms in July tend to stall over land, slowly depositing rain.

Recommendation for Southern retailers in the South: Preposition cleanup supplies, such as tarps, plywood, bleach, mops and buckets.

For consumer-friendly, long-range forecasts anywhere in the world, visit wt360.com. Business services are available at wt360business.com.

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