Central U.S. Bakes; Heat May Return to East Coast Later in July

Record-breaking heat is keeping a grip on the center of the U.S. while the odds improve for another round of hot weather along the East Coast later this month, according to forecasters.

Temperatures were above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) yesterday across large parts Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, according to the National Weather Service. Heat advisories and warnings were posted for those states and into to Ohio today.

Natural gas traders monitor weather forecasts to determine if temperatures may boost heating or cooling demand.

The heat will probably shift eastward during the next two weeks until it blankets most of the East Coast in the July 21 to July 25 time frame, Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said in his 6- to 10-day and 11- to 15-day forecasts.

“In the past 24 hours, there has been a trend to shift the East Coast hotter again in the 11-15 day after a closer-to- seasonal situation through the 6-10 day,” Rogers said in a note to clients. “The core of the strongest heat is still expected in the mid-continent, though.”

While most of the East won’t get that hot today, a heat advisory has been issued for New York City and its immediate metropolitan area because temperatures and humidity may make it feel like 95 degrees or more, according to the weather service in Upton, New York.

NYC Heat

The high today in Central Park is expected to reach 91 degrees. The heat is building because a high pressure system is moving to the southeast of the city and into the ocean, said Rob Carolan, a meteorologist at Hometown Forecast Services in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Carolan said the heat will last for one more day, with highs near 95 tomorrow before cooler, drier air moves into the region.

At least eight cities in the South and Great Plains set heat records yesterday, according to the weather service. Wichita, Kansas, had a high of 111, which broke the record of 110 set in 1980, according to the weather service.

In Arkansas, Fort Smith reached 108 and Harrison reached 103, setting new daily high temperatures. In Missouri, Joplin, devastated by tornadoes earlier this year, set a new high for the date of 106, and in Springfield the high was 102. Shreveport, Louisiana, tied a record of 102 degrees set in 1998.

The heat will stay focused over those states for most of the month, and reach into the northern Great Plains and Great Lakes from July 16 to July 25, according to Rogers. The edges of the heat pocket will also reach to the east and west as well, he said.

“This east-west wobbling of the left and right flanks of the hot ridge may continue to offer heat chances to the East Coast and Southwest (and) California in the weeks ahead,” Rogers said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.

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