Temperatures in the eastern U.S. are expected to be higher next week while cooler weather remains in the West, forecasters said.
Average temperatures in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley may be 5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 to 3.9 Celsius) above normal from Feb. 19 to Feb. 23, according to a 6- to 10-day outlook from MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
“The period starts a bit cooler along the East but also ends warmer, limiting the net change overall,” MDA said.
The coldest part of the year has passed in the U.S., which means seasonal weather has less of an impact on energy use for heating. Traders watch temperature predictions to gauge demand for natural gas, heating oil and electricity.
About 51 percent of U.S. households use natural gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.
There is a chance some areas along the East Coast will have lower than normal temperatures, said David Salmon, owner of Weather Derivatives in Belton, Missouri.
The coastal areas of Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina and parts of northern New Jersey may be about 2 degrees cooler than normal from Feb. 20 to Feb. 24, he said.
Some computer models suggest a snowstorm might develop along the East Coast this weekend, which may keep temperatures down, according to MDA.
East Coast Warmth
By the end of February, temperatures may be 5 to 8 degrees above normal along the East Coast while colder air grips the western U.S. and Canada, according to Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.
In his 8- to 10-day forecast, Rogers predicts that temperatures across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Montana will be 8 degrees below normal.
Temperatures in the mid-Atlantic region and the Northeast, including New York, Boston and Philadelphia, may be 8 to 14 degrees above normal from Feb. 22-23, according to MDA.
The normal average temperature in New York on Feb. 22 is 37 degrees, according to MDA. It’s 33 in Boston; 38 in Philadelphia; 49 in Atlanta; 30 in Chicago; 52 in Dallas; 44 in Seattle; and 57 in Burbank, California.