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Lower Southern Temperatures May Curb Energy Use

May 3 (Bloomberg) -- Lower temperatures in the South will probably damp any increase in energy use through mid-May, said Matt Rogers, President of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

Temperatures will range from seasonal levels to to 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 Celsius) below normal, curbing the need for air conditioning throughout the region and keeping energy use down, Rogers said in a May 8-17 forecast for clients.

“There is a brief period toward the middle of next week when slightly enhanced northern heating demand coincides with about normal lingering cooling demand in the South,” Rogers said. “Otherwise, the South trends tend to offset any heating demands in the North.”

Commodities traders watch temperature forecasts to gauge energy consumption. About 51 percent of U.S. households use gas for heating, according to the Energy Department, while demand from electricity generators peaks in the summer months to meet air conditioning needs.

Temperatures in the eastern U.S. are forecast to fall while temperatures in the West may rise to 3 degrees above normal across most of the region and by 5 degrees in an area from northern California eastward through Nevada and Utah, Rogers said in his 11- to 15-day forecast for May 13 to May 17.

The normal average temperature for May 7 in New York is about 60, according to MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It’s 55 in Boston, 57 in Chicago, 64 in St. Louis, 68 in Atlanta, 73 in Dallas, 75 in Houston, 55 in Seattle and 65 in Burbank, California.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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