Weather Impact on Energy Demand Hits Seasonal Lull

Cooler weather in the U.S. Midwest and East in coming weeks may have little impact on energy demand because this isn’t the time of year for temperature extremes, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC.

Temperatures are expected to fall 3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 to 2.8 Celsius) below normal across the Midwest from Sept. 19 to Sept. 23. The cool will spread to the East Coast from Sept. 24 to Sept. 28, said Rogers, based in Bethesda, Maryland.

The weather at this time of year tends to be mild and a few degrees above or below normal aren’t enough to trigger strong power use, as can be the case with heat in July and August and cold in January and February. Warmer-than-normal temperatures last October to March cut demand for natural gas for heating.

“From what I can tell, the excitement about this cooler pattern is more about the chances it may continue in October rather than what it does right now,” Rogers said in an e-mail interview today.

The average low temperature in New York City on Sept. 18 is 65 degrees, which is also the benchmark used to calculate heating and cooling degree days. That’s the temperature at which energy isn’t supposed to be needed to either warm or cool.

The normal average temperature in New York on Sept. 21 is 68 degrees, or 10 degrees less than in July, according to MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The normal average is 64 in Boston, 70 in Washington, 72 in Atlanta, 63 in Chicago, 78 in Houston, 60 in Seattle and 72 in Burbank, California.

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