While the cold air currently gripping the eastern U.S. may relax in the next few days, temperatures may plunge again by the middle of next week, said Matt Rogers, president of the Commodity Weather Group LLC.
Temperatures along the East Coast are currently about 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 Celsius) below normal, said Rogers from in his office in Bethesda, Maryland.
Yesterday’s low temperature in New York’s Central Park was 31 degrees, or 12 degrees below normal, according to the National Weather Service. In Chicago, the low was 22, also 12 degrees below normal.
“With the current cold push fading over the next day or so, the focus begins to turn to the event on tap for next week,” Rogers wrote in his forecast. “Temperatures for the middle of next weeks are nearly on par with this week’s cold push.”
Below-normal temperatures, especially in Eastern and Midwestern cities, tend to increase energy consumption as more people heat homes and businesses. November marks the start of the U.S. heating season, when natural gas demand peaks.
Power generation accounts for 32 percent of U.S. gas use, according to the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. About 49 percent of all homes use the fuel for heating.
In the northern U.S., temperatures will probably be near seasonal levels from Nov. 20 to 27, Rogers said. The projection for the U.S. South from Texas to the Atlantic Coast is currently for readings 3 to 5 degrees below normal.
The normal average temperature in New York on Nov. 21 is about 47 degrees, according to MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In Boston, it’s 44; in St. Louis, 45; Dallas, 55; Houston, 61; Chicago, 38; Burbank, California, 57; and in Calgary, it’s 26.