U.S. East Coast Temperatures to Warm Through Weekend

Temperatures along the U.S. East Coast will rise during the next few days to reach into the 60s in New York by week’s end.

Manhattan’s Central Park may see 65 degrees (18.3 Celsius) by Dec. 22, according to the National Weather Service. Across much of the eastern half of the U.S. from Texas to Massachusetts, temperatures may be 5 to 8 degrees above normal, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC.

A fast-moving storm yesterday dropped snow across the Northeast. At Central Park and LaGuardia Airport, 1.1 inches fell, according to the weather service. Parts of Boston received 6.4 inches and as much as 8 inches was recorded in the city’s northern suburbs.

“Some good melting coming this weekend at least,” Rogers, in Bethesda, Maryland, said in an e-mail interview. “Should be an impressive warmup this weekend lingering into Monday, but then getting colder again in time for Christmas.”

Higher-than-normal temperatures, especially in Eastern and Midwestern cities, tend to decrease energy consumption as people use less heat to keep homes and businesses warm.

Power generation accounts for 32 percent of U.S. natural 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.

Heating Season

The heating season, when gas demand peaks, runs from November through March. December accounts for 20.9 percent of fuel use while February takes 22.6 percent and January tops the list with 25 percent.

Washington is expected reach 69 on Dec. 22, according to the weather service. Baltimore and Philadelphia are forecast to be 66, Boston 54 and Albany, New York, 53. Dallas is expected to reach 69 tomorrow and then drop to 47 by the weekend.

Temperatures will then become more seasonal across most of the U.S., dropping below normal in Texas and from North Dakota to Maine from Dec. 23 to 27, Rogers said. The Northeast will probably stay at least 3 degrees below normal through Jan. 1

“After this warm event, the models show lots of volatility,” Rogers said.

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