Forecasters Cite Uncertainty in Trying to Predict U.S. Weather

Computer weather models are inconsistent in predicting how long warmth will linger in the U.S. Midwest and cold will remain in the northeastern region, forecasters said.

The central U.S. may be 3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 to 2.8 Celsius) above normal from April 2 to April 6, according to the 6- to 10-day forecast from Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

Parts of the upper Great Plains may be as much as 8 degrees above normal while the Northeast remains seasonably cool.

“The various weather models fail to maintain consistency,” Rogers said. “This damages model credibility and increases the odds for forecast changeability in the coming days.”

Commodities 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.

The pattern driving the weather next week is “highly variable,” according to MDA EarthSat Weather’s 6- to 10-day forecast for the same time period. That may mean a chill in the Northeast.

“The South could stay warmer through the period,” said MDA, based in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

In his 6- to 10-day forecast, Weather Derivatives owner David Salmon predicts the South will be 6 degrees above normal, while most of the Midwest and Northeast won’t be as warm.

The coolest weather will be in the western U.S., according to Salmon, in Belton, Missouri.

In New York, the normal average temperature for April 3 is 48, according to MDA. It’s 44 in Boston, 45 in Chicago, 53 in St. Louis, 59 in Atlanta, 62 in Dallas, 67 in Houston, 49 in Seattle and 60 in Burbank, California.

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