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Eastern U.S. May Warm Up Next Week, Cutting Energy Demand

Temperatures are expected to rise above normal across the eastern U.S. next week and may cut energy demand and melt snow in the region.

Temperatures may increase 8 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 to 7.8 Celsius) above normal Jan. 7 to Jan. 11 from the Midwest to the Middle Atlantic, according to a forecast from MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In New York and New England, temperatures may rise to 5 to 7 degrees above average.

“An already-warm outlook turned significantly warmer across the Eastern half” of the country, an MDA note to clients said. The higher temperatures “over the core of the Midwest will not only cut back on heating demand, but should also greatly diminish snow cover.”

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

The East Coast is expected to have above-average temperatures through Jan. 16, MDA said. Western parts of the U.S. and Canada are forecast to have temperatures from 5 to 14 degrees below normal during the same period.

In New York, the normal average temperature for Jan. 9 is about 33 degrees, according to MDA. It’s 29 in Boston; 24 in Chicago; 32 in St. Louis; 53 in Houston; 19 in Calgary, Alberta; 42 in Seattle; and 55 in Burbank, California.

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