East Coast’s Record-Breaking Heat Will Fade by Next Week

The heat that may topple temperature records in New York City and the East Coast for a second day isn’t expected to last much longer.

An all-time high for the date of 99 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius) may be set in New York’s Central Park today, breaking the old mark of 97 set in 1953 and again in 1988, according to the National Weather Service in Upton, New York. It was 93 in the park at 2:51 p.m.

“We could tie and break a few records today,” said Lauren Nash, a Weather Service meteorologist.

Daily record highs were set in Newark, New Jersey, at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and in Hartford, Connecticut, yesterday and more may fall today. Heat warnings and air quality alerts have been issued from Quebec to Virginia as hundreds lost power and more were asked to conserve, according to utilities.

The weather on the first full day of calendar summer probably won’t be a preview of how things will be for the rest of the season.

“Today’s heat could rank as one of the summer’s hottest for the East Coast cities,” said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. “I don’t expect this to be a precursor to another summer like last summer.”

Rogers said there may be a few more heat spikes later in the season. He doesn’t expect weeks of above-average temperatures across the region through the season because an El Nino is forecast to develop in the Pacific Ocean later this year.

El Nino

That weather pattern often means heat increases that drive electricity usage are balanced by more seasonal temperatures, he said. The result is that natural gas prices won’t get much support from the weather.

“In terms of the gas market, there is always another cooling right around the corner,” Rogers said.

Day-ahead power in New York City rose to $363.80 for the period from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., the highest for that peak-demand hour based in data going back to the start of 2009. The peak price for tomorrow is for $245.14 at the same hour.

Spot electricity in the city averaged $62.25 a megawatt-hour from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and traded at $69.80 at 2:50 p.m., according to data from the New York Independent System Operator Inc., which manages the state’s grid. Prices yesterday averaged $305.77 after climbing to $1,643.83 at 1:40 p.m.

NYC Demand

The grid operator predicted that demand in the five boroughs will be 11,017 megawatts from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., compared with yesterday’s peak consumption of 10,197 megawatts. Statewide power consumption may rise to 32,659 megawatts, 4 percent higher than yesterday’s peak of 3,1369.3 megawatts at 4:35 p.m.

Nash said temperatures in New York are expected to be much lower by the start of next week. A high of 76 is forecast for June 25, according to the Weather Service.

Temperatures from Ontario and Quebec to the U.S. mid-Atlantic states are expected to be 3 to 4 degrees below normal by next week, according to MDA EarthSat Weather’s 6- to 10-day outlook for June 26 to June 30.

“Once the heat wave is broken, the heat is not coming back anytime soon,” said Tom Kines, expert meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. “Temperatures next week will be at best near normal and most likely below normal.”

Chicago Cools

The heat has already ended in Chicago, where temperatures reached 94 to 95 for the past three days. Today’s high is expected to be 75, according to the Weather Service.

Above-normal temperatures will shift to the southern U.S. from New Mexico to Louisiana, according to MDA in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

For today and tomorrow, New York will keep 455 cooling centers open, according to a city statement.

In Washington, the elderly and people with respiratory problems were urged to stay inside, according to a city statement. Residents were also cautioned to limit their exposure to the sun “especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when it is strongest.”

The combination of high temperatures and humidity makes the air feel even hotter and is called the heat index. Today’s values in New York and northern New Jersey will range from 100 to 104, according to the Weather Service.

The highs at LaGuardia, Washington and Baltimore are expected to be 100, according to the weather service. Boston and Trenton, New Jersey, may reach 98 and Richmond, Virginia, and Philadelphia may see 99, the agency said.

The high in Toronto yesterday was 94 and is expected to reach 91 today, according to Environment Canada. In Montreal yesterday’s high was 90.8 and it’s expected to reach 91 today, according to the Canadian weather service.

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