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Heat to Grip U.S. East Coast as Severe Storms Possible

Temperatures past 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) and severe thunderstorms are possible on the East Coast this week as almost 500,000 customers remain without power following weekend storms in the Washington area.

New York City may reach a high of 91 today before dropping to 89 tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures are expected to stay at or above 90 for the rest of the week in Washington and Philadelphia and throughout the central U.S., including Chicago. St. Louis is forecast to be at 100 or higher all week.

The heat along the East Coast may start to break at week’s end, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

“Before that point, we expect more upper 90s to sometimes 100-plus temperatures in key areas from the Midwest and East Coast,” Rogers said. “The biggest day-to-day challenges are occasional thunderstorm threats.”

Such high temperatures in the large cities and suburbs of the U.S. East Coast spike energy demand, raising prices in spot electricity markets.

The cooling-degree days value for the week is forecast to be 97, 29 more than normal, according to the Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Maryland.

The value is calculated by subtracting a base of 65 degrees from the daily average temperature to show. Higher values mean warmer weather and more energy for cooling. Energy and weather derivatives traders use the value to gauge market demand.

Power Out

At least 492,000 customers in Washington, Maryland and Virginia were still without power today, according to statements by Dominion Resources Inc. and Pepco Holdings Inc. The weekend storms knocked down trees, closed roads and interrupted Amtrak service between Philadelphia and Washington.

There is a chance of severe thunderstorms today and tomorrow from Virginia to South Carolina and later this week from Maine to Maryland, according to the U.S. Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

Rogers said temperatures will range at least 5 degrees above normal from Colorado to Massachusetts for the rest of the week. In Midwest, it may be even warmer, he said.

After that, he expects more seasonal temperatures to spread across the Northeast. The Midwest and mid-Atlantic may remain warmer than normal through July 16, he said.

For July 10, the normal average temperature in New York City is 77, according to MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It’s 73 in Boston; 80 in Washington; 80 in Atlanta; 75 in Chicago; 84 in Houston; 65 in Seattle and 74 in Burbank, California.

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