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U.S. Northeast May Be Warmer Than Normal February Through April

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Northeast will probably be warmer than normal during from February to April, according to a seasonal forecast from the Climate Prediction Center.

The region has an above-average chance of having warmer weather, according to a probabilistic forecast from the climate center in College Park, Maryland. In addition, an area from California to western Mississippi may also have above-normal temperatures.

Above-normal temperatures in the large cities of the Northeast can lower the prices for heating oil and natural gas because people are less inclined to turn thermostats up to heat homes and businesses. About 50 percent of U.S. households use natural gas for heating.

In addition to the temperature forecasts, the climate center also released precipitation maps that show parched conditions are expected to continue from the central Great Plains to Texas.

The central U.S. is currently experiencing the worst drought since the 1930s. Almost 58.9 percent of the contiguous 48 states are gripped by the drought, which is centered in Great Plains, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor in Lincoln, Nebraska.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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