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Cold Air May Boost Energy Use for Heating in Eastern U.S.

A blast of cold air along in the eastern U.S. may mean energy used for heating homes and businesses will be 10 to 30 percent above normal through the weekend, said David Salmon, owner of Weather Derivatives.

Demand will exceed normal from the Ohio Valley to the East Coast as cold hangs on from April 5 to April 11, Salmon said.

In his 6- to 10-day outlook, Salmon also predicts temperatures will drop 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (3.3 to 5.6 Celsius) below normal from Missouri to the East Coast from April 10 to April 14. Lows may be in 30s as far south as Georgia and Alabama, he said.

Commodities traders watch temperature predictions to gauge energy use and demand. Natural gas futures gained the past two days as forecasters predicted colder weather in the Midwest. About 51 percent of U.S. households use gas for hearing, according to the Energy Department.

The normal average temperature for April 11 in New York is about 51, according to MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It’s 47 in Boston, 46 in Chicago, 56 in St. Louis, 61 in Atlanta, 64 in Dallas, 68 in Houston, 50 in Seattle and 61 in Burbank, California.

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