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Seasonal Temperatures Through Mid-May Won’t Boost Energy Demand

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May 7 (Bloomberg) -- Seasonal weather across much of the U.S. may mean little increase in demand for energy to cool or heat homes and businesses.

Most of the U.S. will have normal temperatures during the next week, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. The only deviations expected are above-average temperatures in the West from California to Montana and a pocket of cooler weather near the Texas-Oklahoma state line.

“The overall pattern evolution over the next two weeks is not very supporting of above-normal demand for the Midwest, South, and East,” Rogers said in a note to clients.

Commodities traders watch temperature outlooks and degree-day forecasts to gauge energy use and demand. 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.

The heating-degree days value for this week is expected to be 29, or 15 below normal and 2 lower than last year, according to the Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Maryland.

The cooling-degree days figure will probably be 20, or 4 above normal and 7 below last year, the center said.

Degree Days Calculations

Cooling-degree days are calculated by subtracting a base of 65 degrees from the daily average temperature to show energy demand. Higher values mean warmer weather and more energy being used to cool homes and businesses.

The heating-degree days are calculated by subtracting the average daily temperature from 65. The higher the values, the colder the weather and the more energy needed for heating.

The U.S. Northeast, as well as the Pacific Northwest to the Great Lakes, may be 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 Celsius) above normal from May 12 to May 16, Rogers said. It won’t get hot enough “to develop any significant cooling demand,” he said.

The normal average temperature for May 16 in New York is 63, according to MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It’s 58 in Boston, 59 in Chicago, 67 in St. Louis, 70 in Atlanta, 74 in Dallas, 77 in Houston, 60 in Seattle and 72 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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