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Frigid Temperatures May Linger in U.S. Northeast for Three Weeks

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Energy markets may see almost three weeks of below-normal temperatures in the U.S. Northeast, extending the current cold snap into second week of February.

Except for a two-day respite, temperatures probably will remain at least 3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit below normal through much of the region or return to seasonal levels from the current deep freeze until Feb. 8, according to MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

“The arrival of the next round of cold has been sped up a day or two for much of the central and eastern U.S., resulting in a much colder period overall,” MDA said in today’s forecast.

Extended cold in the large population centers of the Midwest and East Coast helps boost market prices for natural gas and heating oil. About 50 percent of U.S. households use natural gas for heating.

High temperatures in New York City may reach at least 51 degrees Fahrenheit (10.5 Celsius) on Jan. 29 and possibly 53 the next day before dropping into the 30s, according to MDA.

By Feb. 3, the low in New York is expected to be 20. It may be 16 in Boston, 6 in Chicago, 15 in Cincinnati, 19 in Philadelphia and 23 in Washington, according to MDA.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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