Temperatures may rise more than 30 degrees in the U.S. Midwest and along the East Coast next week as frigid air is pushed away from large energy-consuming cities.
The Midwest may have temperatures near 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) starting this weekend, while the warmer air arrives in the East early next week and lasts until Feb. 2, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.
He called it “impressive, fast-moving warming.” The high temperature today in Chicago and in New York’s Central Park is expected to be 20, the National Weather Service predicted. In Washington, it may be 27 with a chance of snow.
More natural gas and heating oil is used when temperatures fall, boosting spot and futures markets, while moderate weather can depress prices.
Last winter was the fourth-warmest on record in the U.S., which helped push natural gas prices to a 10-year low. About 50 percent of U.S. households use the fuel for heating, according to the Energy Information Administration.
After the warming, temperatures are expected to drop at least 5 degrees below normal across the Midwest and eastern U.S. from Feb. 3-7, Rogers said. The Northeast may get the coldest weather during this wave, he said.
The cold snap expected to start in February probably won’t be as severe as the one that currently grips the country from the Midwest across the Ohio Valley and into the East, Rogers said in a note to clients today. Temperatures in New York City yesterday ranged from a low of 11 degrees to a high of 20, 18 below normal, the weather service said.