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Cold Grips Central U.S., While East May Stay Warm Next Week

Colder air is expected to grip the central and western U.S. next week, while the Northeast may be warmer than normal, according to forecasters.

In his 6- to 10-day forecast, Commodity Weather Group LLC President Matt Rogers called for the widest spread of colder-than-normal weather. He said an area from southern California to western Ohio may average 3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.6 to 2.7 Celsius) below normal from Dec. 5 through Dec. 9.

Weather Derivatives’ David Salmon predicted a similar range of areas that may see lower temperatures. Salmon said the cold may be more intense across the Southwest, Texas and Louisiana, as well as Iowa, northern Illinois and Wisconsin.

MDA EarthSat Weather had the tightest pattern of cold weather, confining it mainly to Southwest, southern Rocky Mountains and central Great Plains states.

Traders use long-range temperature predictions to gauge energy use and market fluctuations. Hot or cold weather can increase demand for heating and cooling. Power plants use about 30 percent of the nation’s gas supplies, according to Energy Department data.

All three forecasters also predicted some above-normal temperatures in the U.S. Northeast. Salmon called for the entire East Coast to be warmer than usual, with temperatures rising 6 degrees above normal in northern New England and along the Mid-Atlantic states.

MDA had the smallest spread of warm temperatures, confining them mainly to northern New England.

Longer-Range Models

Rogers said there is dispute among the computer forecasting models used to predict weather out as far as 15 days. Both he and MDA say their confidence in the forecast drops the further out in time they go. Salmon, in Belton, Missouri, doesn’t issue an 11- to 15-day forecast.

“If confidence was low yesterday, it is even lower today,” MDA said in a note to clients today.

Both MDA and Rogers, in Bethesda, Maryland, called for temperatures to be close to seasonal across most of the U.S. from Dec. 10 to Dec. 14. Rogers predicted there could be warmer weather in the northern Plains, while MDA called for the region to be near normal.

In New York, the normal average temperature for Dec. 7 is about 41 degrees, according to MDA in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In Boston it’s 38, in Philadelphia it’s 41, in Atlanta it’s 47, in Chicago it’s 30, in Seattle it’s 41 and in Burbank, California, it’s 54.

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