U.S. East May End Year With Seasonal Temperatures, Rogers Says

Temperatures in the eastern U.S. may be seasonal as December ends, with frigid air confined to the western half of the country, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC.

Temperatures in parts of Idaho, Utah and Nevada may drop as much as 8 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 Celsius) below normal, while the states east of the Mississippi River remain closer to average from Dec. 29 to Jan. 2, he said.

“Storms next week and the week after are complicating the forecast picture and keeping detail confidence on the low side,” Rogers said in a note to clients today.

Energy traders look to long-range forecasts to gauge potential fuel use. Below-normal temperatures in the large cities of the Midwest and Northeast may increase demand for energy to warm homes and businesses, pushing up natural gas and heating oil prices.

Earlier this week, Rogers said the eastern U.S. may be about 3 degrees cooler than normal Dec. 28 to Jan. 1. He said today that like many other colder patterns predicted by forecast models, this one will probably “under-perform expectations and be less impressive.”

While the East has seasonal temperatures at the beginning of the year, Ontario, Quebec and the Canadian Maritimes may have temperatures 3 to 8 degrees above normal.

In New York, the normal average temperature for Dec. 25 is about 36 degrees, according to MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It is 32 in Boston; 25 in Chicago; 32 in St. Louis; 53 in Houston; 19 in Calgary, Alberta; 35 in Seattle; and 49 in Burbank, California.