Much-Warmer Air Expected in Northeast, Ohio Valley by Mid-March

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Northeast and Ohio Valley may become much warmer than normal by the second week of March, forecasters said.

Temperatures may rise 8 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 to 7.8 Celsius) above normal from Ohio to New England, including New York and Washington, March 9 through March 13, according to an 11- to 15-day forecast from MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

“An already very warm map has turned even warmer in this time frame,” MDA said.

Traders watch temperature predictions to gauge energy use and demand. About 51 percent of U.S. households use natural gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.

In the shorter term, forecasters are split on how warm the East Coast will be next week.

The region may be 2 degrees cooler than normal in most areas from March 5 to 9, while the Great Plains warm up, said David Salmon, owner of Weather Derivatives in Belton, Missouri.

Commodity Weather Group LLC President Matt Rogers predicts the warmer air will shift farther to the east. Southern New England and the mid-Atlantic states may be about 3 degrees above normal from March 4 to March 8, according to Rogers, who is based in Bethesda, Maryland.

The normal average temperature in New York for March 7 is about 40 degrees, according to MDA. It’s 36 in Boston, 41 in Philadelphia, 35 in Chicago, 43 in St. Louis, 56 in Dallas, 61 in Houston, 52 in Atlanta, 45 in Seattle and 58 in Burbank, California.

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