Higher U.S. Temperatures Won’t Be Enough for Heat Yet

Temperatures are forecast to rise above normal in the Midwest as May comes to an end, although a heat wave strong enough to drive up energy use across the U.S. is still weeks away, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC.

Readings across the northern Great Plains and Midwest are expected to reach more than 5 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 to 4.4 Celsius) above normal from May 24 to 28, Rogers said in his outlook today. The heat will be offset by periods of milder weather brought on by rain.

“We see bursts of warming at times into the Midwest and East,” said Rogers, who’s based in Bethesda, Maryland. He said relatively low temperatures and “associated rainfall risks seem to dampen any attempts at any major early season heat.”

Hot weather in high-population areas spurs electricity use as more people turn to air conditioners to keep cool. That may also translate into increased natural gas demand for power generation.

From May 29 to June 2, temperatures are expected to remain close to seasonal norms while rising about 5 degrees higher than usual in the Rocky Mountains.

In New York, the average normal temperature on May 25 is about 66, according to MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In Boston, it’s 61; in Chicago, 62; in St. Louis, 69; in Houston, 79; and in Burbank, California, 66.

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