Temperatures to Touch 90 in New York as Heat Grips East

Rising temperatures along the U.S. East Coast have closed schools in Philadelphia, boosted energy use and may reach into the 90s Fahrenheit (30s Celsius) before thunderstorms cool readings later today, forecasters said.

Today’s high may reach 90 in New York and a heat advisory is in place in eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey, the National Weather Service said. Philadelphia public schools closed earlier because of the heat, according to the district’s website.

“Today is going to be pretty stifling,” said Paul Walker, a meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. “The energy field will be happy with all the electricity going out.”

High temperatures in the large cities of the U.S. East Coast can boost energy demand as people turn to air conditioning to keep cool. The last time readings reached the 90-degree mark in New York was September, according to the weather service.

Wholesale electricity for New York City for today jumped $43.95, or 60 percent, to $117 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 5 p.m., the highest peak hour price since May 27, in yesterday’s day-ahead market.

Walker said the high in Philadelphia may reach 96 and 97 in Washington. In Boston readings will be about 87.

Near Record

“It will be near record levels but not quite record levels,” Walker said.

The heat also extends back into the Midwest, where Chicago is expected to hit 87 today, he said.

Temperatures are expected to drop after today’s heat and that has already caused some energy prices to fall across the Midwest.

Walker said a cold front will follow the high temperatures and thunderstorms are likely to break out later today in Baltimore and Philadelphia and tonight in New York. Chicago is also likely to be buffeted later today.

The storms may be powerful enough to cause some air traffic delays at airports in the eastern U.S., he said.

While the heat grips the east, parts of the Rocky Mountains have been getting snow. A winter weather advisory, calling for 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) of snow, has been posted in Wyoming and another is in place in Montana.

Temperatures there are expected to reach into the 70s and 80s in two days.

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