U.S. Urges Grilling in Hot West While Forecasting Gloom for East

If you’re looking for a hot weekend to kick off the summer in the U.S., you need to head to Oregon because New York, Boston and the rest of the Northeast are going to be cool, wet and gloomy.

“The picnic index is about zero,” said Tom Kines, a meteorologist with commercial forecaster AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. ‘New England could squeeze out a decent Saturday but then the walls cave in on Sunday.’’

On the other side of the continent, the National Weather Service is urging people to cook outdoors to save electricity because it will be so hot it’s likely to boost demand.

“Wait until the cooler times of day to run dishwashers and clothes dryers,” the agency said in an “excessive heat” watch that covers western Oregon. “Instead of using the stove consider using a microwave oven or outdoor grill for cooking.”

That’s it! The federal government wants you to barbecue.

Temperatures in Portland, Salem and other parts of Oregon are forecast to push toward 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) starting Friday.

Back on the East Coast, the high on Saturday and Sunday in Washington might get to 73 degrees, while New York will be 2 degrees lower than that. For sunshine and warmish weather, pack up the car and try Quebec City, where the weekend high will be close to 79 under sunny skies, Environment Canada said.

Okay, it’s an 8-hour, 500-plus-mile (804 kilometer) trip from New York. Maybe it’s not the spontaneous cure for a rainy day, but it’s a nice city just the same.

Storm System

The gloom in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions will be caused by a storm system that “is more typical of springtime,” said Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

“It’s a little out of the ordinary for going into summer,” he said.

By the time the weekend is over, New York could pick up a half-inch (1.3 centimeters) of rain, while Baltimore and Washington get an inch or more. Burke said the rain will start in the Appalachians and then spread north and east.

The storm should be fully developed by Friday and bringing rain to Washington by Saturday. In New York, the worst of it probably won’t start until Saturday night, Burke said.

Rain, Rain

Before then, there will be off-and-on bouts of rain and sun in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, the weather service said. If that’s the case, it may be hard to tell when the storm starts and when it ends.

It will start raining in Charleston, West Virginia, late Thursday and the city may not see sun again until next week.

Kines said the imbalance across the continent is pretty typical.

“When it gets unusually cool for a time in the East, it gets usually hot somewhere in the West,” Kines said. “There are going to be a lot of places out there that come close or exceed their record high temperatures.”

There’s a 70 percent to 90 percent chance temperatures in the Pacific Northwest, particularly in the Cascades, will be above normal through July 3, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center said. The odds drop to 60 percent to 80 percent from July 1 to 7.

The Great Lakes have the best chance for cool air from July 1 to 7, although much of the East, except Florida, has a chance for cooler weather. There’s a 60 percent to 70 percent chance below-normal temperatures will hold on from the northeastern tip of Texas to Maine through July 3.

Good news for your electric bill. Bad news for retailers looking to sell lots of air conditioners and fans in the densely populated Northeast.

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