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Cold Air Aims at New York, Northeast This Weekend, Forecasts Say

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Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Cold weather may come to the U.S. Northeast including New York next week, boosting demand for natural gas and heating oil to warm homes and businesses, forecasts show.

Temperatures may fall from 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (3.3 to 5.6 Celsius) below normal in the New York area to as much as 18 degrees below normal in northern Maine, according to David Salmon, owner of Weather Derivatives in Belton, Missouri.

“The big story this morning is the strengthening of this weekend’s Northeast cold push and the longer duration into early next week,” said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

Traders watch temperature predictions to gauge energy demand for heating and cooling. Natural gas for March delivery rose 1.7 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $2.567 per million British thermal units at 7:06 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, futures touched $2.611, the most since Jan. 31.

About 51 percent of U.S. households use natural gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.

The cold will be enough to push energy demand for heating in the Northeast and from Ohio Valley to Midwest to normal levels, Salmon said.

High temperatures in New York will be in the 40s through much of this week and fall to the 30s by the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Milder Outlook

Milder air will return to the region late next week after the cold weather retreats, Rogers predicted.

In his 11- to 15-day forecast, Rogers said the East Coast may have average temperatures of about 3 degrees above normal from Feb. 17 to Feb. 21. Also in that timeframe, average temperatures in the western U.S. will fall to about 5 degrees below normal.

The normal average temperature in New York on Feb. 7 is 34 degrees, according to MDA EarthSat in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It is about 30 in Boston; 35 in Philadelphia; 46 in Atlanta; 26 in Chicago; 49 in Dallas; 43 in Seattle; and 55 in Burbank, California.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at