A blast of arctic air is expected to sweep across the Great Lakes next week, possibly driving up U.S. natural gas and electricity demand in an area from New England to Georgia.
New York may have a low of 11 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 12 Celsius) by Jan. 22, with Boston reaching the single digits and Philadelphia and Washington hovering in the teens, according to MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Chicago may touch minus 4 and Atlanta will be in the 20s.
“More demand is added to the forecast again today as next week’s cold front is arriving up to one day faster, and there are colder changes to the Midwest and East Coast temperature forecasts,” Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a note to clients. “The Southeast gets a bigger hit from this event, too.”
Below-normal temperatures, especially in Eastern and Midwestern cities, drive up use of natural gas and heating oil as more people heat homes and businesses. Cold that reaches into the U.S. South can boost electric demand because many homes there use it for heat.
Temperatures are expected to be at least 8 degrees below normal through much of Ontario south into the Ohio Valley and east into southern New England from Jan. 22 to Jan. 26, according to Rogers. The low readings will push into Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia from Jan. 27 to Jan. 31.
The remainder of the South, with the exception of the tip of Florida, temperatures will be 3 to 5 degrees below normal.
The cold will be lingering when the National Football League’s Super Bowl gets under way on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, said Rob Carolan, founder of Hometown Forecast Services Inc.
“I think it is great,” Carolan said. “Football is meant to be played outside. I hope it snows.”
The nearest weather station to the stadium is Newark Liberty Airport. The historical high for 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 2 was 61 degrees in 1973 and the low was 13 in 1976, according to the New Jersey State Climatologist’s Office at Rutgers University.
The average temperature for the day and time is 34. The game is set to start at 6:25 p.m., according to the NFL.
High temperatures in the West may hinder firefighters battling a wildfire northeast of Los Angeles, Carolan said. The Glendora wildfire has destroyed five homes and forced families to evacuate from 1,000 more, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. So far the blaze has consumed 1,700 acres and injured three people.
Temperatures are expected to be in the high 80s today throughout the area, according to the National Weather Service. A red flag warning, meaning the combination of high readings and low humidity that increases fire risk, is in place across parts of Southern California and the state’s Central Valley.
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