Cool Air Across Eastern U.S. May Keep Energy Demand Strong

A blast of cooler-than-normal weather across the Great Lakes to the East Coast and down the Mississippi River Valley may be enough to boost energy demand as April begins.

Temperatures from North Dakota into the Ohio Valley are expected to be about 8 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 Celsius) lower than normal from April 1 to April 5, Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC, said in a note to clients today. Readings may be 3 to 5 degrees lower across a large part of the East in the same period.

“Normal temperatures are still rising at a steady clip, so at an absolute basis, the cooling would not be as strong as mid-to-late March levels, but it would keep late-season demand riding stronger than normal,” said Rogers, who’s based in Bethesda, Maryland.

The U.S. heating season ends with March. April is the start of a transition to warmer temperatures and when more energy is used to cool, rather than heat, homes. Extended cold in the large population centers of the Midwest and East helps boost prices for heating fuels. About 50 percent of U.S. households use gas for warmth.

The normal average temperature on April 1 in New York City is 47 degrees, according to MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In Boston, it’s 43; in Chicago, 44; in Houston, 67; in St. Louis, 52; and in Burbank, California, it’s 60.

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