Black Friday forecast: Lack of extreme cold, snow could boost sales across much of US

By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather staff writer
November 24, 2017, 5:05:20 AM EST

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The official start of the holiday shopping season will kick off on Friday as millions venture out to score the best deals.

Shoppers across the country will become early risers on Friday to take advantage of the Black Friday sales. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales are projected to increase by up to 4 percent compared to 2016.

Black Friday 11.24 AM

While conditions across much of the Northeast will be dry on Friday, it will be a chilly morning for shoppers.

Temperatures will hover in the middle 30s F in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Those across the interior Northeast will have to contend with morning temperatures in the 20s.

Seasonably cold weather doesn't typically deter holiday shoppers, according to Tim Loftus, AccuWeather meteorologist and business intelligence analyst.

By the afternoon, temperatures will rebound and range from the 30s in northern New England and New York state to the 40s in southern New England and the mid-Atlantic. The high will exceed 50 in Washington, D.C., AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said.

While extreme storms and other hazardous weather will be absent across the country, customers are still likely to take advantage of deals without leaving their homes.

"It's safe to say that Cyber Monday sales will increase," AccuWeather Manager of Business Intelligence Rosemary Yielding Radich said.

"...Especially in areas like the Northeast where highs will be in the 30s and 40s and areas in the Southeast slated to experience rainy conditions," she said.

In central and southern Florida, shoppers should take umbrellas and rain jackets out to the shops as the storm that drenched the region on Thanksgiving Day will linger into Friday.

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"Heavy rainfall has a negative impact on foot traffic at brick and mortar stores. Consumers in the Southeast that experience high precipitation rates may hold off until Cyber Monday," Loftus said.

A chill will hold over the Ohio Valley with temperatures in the 20s at the start of the day. Highs in the 30s and 40s will stretch from Minneapolis to Detroit.

Mild weather will greet late shoppers in Chicago and St. Louis with respective highs in the 50s and around 70 during the day. Seasonable weather will promote consumer traffic in these locations.

A storm will bring spotty rain to the Upper Midwest on Friday, but it shouldn't be a washout, Rathbun said.

In the southern Plains, high pressure will bring dry conditions and promote unseasonable warmth.

black friday shopping

Shoppers carry bags as they cross Market Street in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Highs will be up to 15 degrees above normal for this time of year. Some record highs could be challenged, which could increase foot traffic across stores.

However, these shoppers may buy fewer winter-related items, according to Loftus.

Shoppers in the Pacific Northwest will catch a bit of a break from the recent soggy weather. A few areas of light rain will occur, especially in western Washington.

Holiday shoppers may be driven to hit the stores due to the drying trend across much of the Northwest, especially where poor weather may have deterred people from heading out to stores earlier in the week, Loftus said.

In the Southwest, shoppers will continue to feel the record-challenging heat. It will feel like summer in some areas, including Los Angeles. Highs will reach the 80s on Friday, slightly cooler than Thanksgiving Day.

According to Loftus, unseasonably warm weather in the Southwest will prevent shoppers from buying winter-dependent products.

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