As temperatures plummeted, retailers’ online traffic soared this past weekend as they entered the home stretch of the holiday shopping season. The last full weekend before Christmas and the start of Hanukkah proved to be a big winner for online shopping, with online traffic up 11% on Saturday, and 16% on Sunday, according to Verizon which tracked traffic on home-based Internet connections to the 25 largest U.S. online retailers. Jessica Williams, a 31-year-old psychologist living in South San Francisco was one of those shoppers who preferred browsing online to visiting the mall. “I love the convenience of online shopping and not having to deal with lines, parking and limited items,” she said. “I feel that I got better deals online than going inside the stores.” And given the wintry blast that gripped much of the nation, buyers were loading up on seasonal clothing, says Planalytics, a firm that measures the impact of weather on consumer behavior. It forecasts that shoppers will spend at least $350 million more than last year on cold weather gear during December. “This weekend was the perfect storm,’’ says Michele Dupré, Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ group vice president for retail, distribution and hospitality. “Weather plays a factor,” she said and retailers “certainly played up the fact it was the last weekend (before the holidays) and were touting that shipping deadlines were quickly approaching.” Read more at USA Today.