• Temperatures are forecast to soar in eastern U.S., Canada
  • Heavy rains predicted across Washington and into California

Heavy rains are forecast across parts of Northern California and Oregon as temperatures soar in the eastern U.S. during the next five days.

Five inches (13 centimeters) or more of rainfall is likely to be widespread in the Pacific Northeast and California through Tuesday, the U.S. Weather Prediction Center said.

Temperatures from Iowa to Maine and Ontario to Georgia could jump 15 degrees Fahrenheit (8 Celsius) above normal, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

Computer forecast models “all agree that the pattern downshifts cooler after the super-warm” 1- to 5-day period, which “features coast-to-coast warm weather and super above-normal temperatures at times for the Midwest, East and South,” Rogers said.

Normal average temperatures in New York on Dec. 15 are about 38 degrees, according to MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In Boston, they’re about 35; in Chicago, 28; and in Houston, 54. AccuWeather Inc. is predicting 55 for New York, 54 for Boston, 48 for Chicago and 75 for Houston.

A low-pressure system off the Pacific coast of Oregon and Washington is sending rain and snowstorms into much of the drought-parched region. Winter weather advisories, storm warnings, flood warnings and high-wind watches stretch from the coast of Washington to California eastward to Wyoming and Montana.

The rains are much needed, especially in California, which has suffered through four years of drought. In the meantime, the warmer temperatures in the eastern U.S. are likely to keep natural gas prices down. Mild readings in large population areas of the Midwest and East mean less of the fuel will be needed for heating homes and businesses.

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