Lowest Temperatures Since March Coming to New York, Northeast

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The coldest air in at least 10 months is forecast to fall across New York City and the U.S. Northeast later today, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures in Manhattan are expected to reach 15 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-9 Celsius) and may fall even lower north of the city, said Joey Picca, a weather service meteorologist in Upton, New York.

“This is definitely the coldest air mass of the season,” Picca said by telephone. “The last time we were at 15 was last February on the 23rd and it was 16 on March 3.”

The weather service has issued a warning that the low temperatures and winds of 10 to 20 mph may bring wind chill values below zero Fahrenheit throughout parts of New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Milder weather may follow this week’s blast of cold weather, according to three 6- to 10-day commercial forecasts.

The northern U.S. from the Great Plains to the Northeast may be from 5 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit (2.7 to 4.4 Celsius) above normal from Jan. 8 to Jan. 12, according to MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Temperatures may be even higher in the northern Plains and western Great Lakes, according to MDA.

“The forecast here remains quite warm across most of the North with only some detail differences expected since late last week,” according to MDA’s forecast.

Warming Trend Seen

Traders use long-range temperature predictions to gauge energy use and demand for heating and cooling. Power plants consume about 30 percent of the nation’s natural-gas supplies, according to Energy Department data.

Six- to 10-day forecasts from Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, and from Weather Derivatives in Belton, Missouri, call for similar warming across the northern U.S.

The low of 15 in Manhattan is expected be the coldest weather of the week, according to the National Weather Service. The temperature is expected to fall to 8 degrees in Boston, 15 in Philadelphia and 20 in Washington.

Forecasters diverge in their longer-term forecasts.

Commodity Weather Group President Matt Rogers predicts the U.S. from the Great Lakes to Northeast may fall 3 degrees below normal from Jan. 13 to Jan. 17.

MDA calls for the Great Lakes to have seasonal temperatures in the same time period while the Northeast, including New York, has temperatures 3 to 4 degrees above normal.

Salmon doesn’t issue an 11- to 15-day forecast.

The normal average temperature in New York for Jan. 10 is about 33 degrees, according to MDA. It’s 29 in Boston, 24 in Chicago, 43 in Atlanta, 42 in Seattle, 53 in Houston, and 55 in Burbank, California.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Banker at bbanker@bloomberg.net