June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Temperatures are forecast to rise into the 90s in New York City and much of the Northeast this week, driving up energy usage as people attempt to cool down with air conditioning.
Highs may be in the low 90s Fahrenheit (30s Celsius) in New York and Boston and may come close to 100 from Washington to Philadelphia, according to the National Weather Service.
“Tomorrow will start to be painful and Wednesday and Thursday will really be painful,” said David Streit, chief operating officer at Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. “It does look like temperatures will be going up pretty substantially in the next three days.”
Natural gas for July delivery rose 11.3 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $4.82 per million British thermal units at 12:30 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
“We should be getting some weather-related buying,” said Phil Flynn, vice president of research at PFGBest in Chicago. “We transitioned from winter to summer almost overnight, and air conditioners will be humming.”
Power plants use 30 percent of U.S. natural gas supplies.
Gas futures may breach $5 per million Btu if the July contract can settle above and remain higher than $4.879, the 2011 high reached Jan. 24, Stephen Schork, president of Schork Group Inc., an energy advisory company in Villanova, Pennsylvania, said in a note to clients today. Gas was last above $5 on Aug. 2.
In addition to the high temperatures, which may reach 10 to 20 degrees above normal across the Northeast, the U.S. Storm Prediction Center is forecasting a high chance of severe weather across northern New York and the New England states of Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire on June 9.
According to the center, 523 people have been killed in tornadoes spawned by severe thunderstorms this year and at least 1,429 twisters have been reported. From 1990 to 2009, tornadoes caused $97.8 billion of insured losses in the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute in New York.
After this week, the Northeast will probably cool down and temperatures will return to normal for the time of year, Streit said. The heat will probably remain in the southern U.S., according to Commodity Weather Group’s 6- to 10-day forecast.
--Editors: Charlotte Porter, Richard Stubbe
To contact the reporters on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at firstname.lastname@example.org; Christine Buurma in New York at email@example.com.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at firstname.lastname@example.org