July 18 (Bloomberg) -- Temperatures may rise above 100 degrees in New York this week as a heat wave spreads from the central U.S., boosting energy use in the densely populated Northeast and threatening crop damage.
The National Weather Service today issued an excessive heat watch, meaning temperatures will feel hotter than 105 Fahrenheit (41 Celsius), for parts of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky. The above-normal temperatures will reach the mid-Atlantic by Thursday, said Matt Rogers, the president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.
“It’s going to be a pretty intense temperature story for the East Coast by Thursday,” Rogers said. “That hot ridge out in the Midwest is going to flatten and extend to the Eastern Seaboard.”
Forecasts of above-normal temperatures drove natural gas futures to their biggest weekly gain since November last week. Gas for August delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 3.8 percent as Commodity Weather Group predicted hotter-than-normal weather in the eastern and central U.S. through the end of July.
Power plants use about 30 percent of the nation’s gas supplies, according to the Energy Department.
Temperatures may reach 101 degrees, 16 above normal, on Friday at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Rogers said. Thunderstorms next week will probably bring cooler weather to the region, he said.
The southern central states, including Texas and Oklahoma, probably won’t cool off this week, according to Stephen Strum, the president of Frontier Weather Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. High temperatures in Tulsa have been above 90 since May 31 and higher than 100 for 13 of the past 17 days, according to the National Weather Service.
“It’s going to stay pretty much as it has been, with temperatures 100 degrees or higher throughout the remainder of the week,” Strum said.
More than 40 states will record temperatures in the 90s or higher this week, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Temperatures in the Great Plains states will reach 100 degrees or higher from Sunday through Wednesday, said Kristina Pydynowski, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather, in a blog post today.
Corn crop yields may be reduced in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas amid high temperatures and low rainfall, according to Commodity Weather Group. Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $66.7 billion in 2010, followed by soybeans at $38.9 billion, government figures show.
Corn may gain for the third straight week and soybeans may rise for a fourth week on speculation that temperatures topping 100 degrees will damage reproducing crops in the U.S. Midwest, according to a Bloomberg News survey.
Twenty-two of 31 traders and analysts surveyed from Tokyo to Chicago on July 15 forecast that corn will rise, and 21 respondents said soybeans will gain.
On the Chicago Board of Trade last week, corn futures for December delivery rose 7.5 percent to $6.85 a bushel, the most in eight weeks, and soybean futures for November delivery climbed 3 percent to $13.87 a bushel.
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