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Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Northeast and Midwest may be warmer than normal next week, according to forecasters.
The 6- to 10-day forecasts from MDA EarthSat Weather, Commodity Weather Group LLC and Weather Derivatives all agree that temperatures will rise throughout the region next week, particularly around the Great Lakes.
Traders use long-range temperature predictions to gauge energy use and market fluctuations. Hot or cold weather can increase demand for heating and cooling. Power plants use about 30 percent of the nation’s natural gas supplies, according to Energy Department data.
The computer forecast models that meteorologists use to prepare the outlooks are split between warming in the northern U.S. from Dec. 12 to Dec. 16 and more seasonal temperatures, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather in Bethesda, Maryland. A model out of Europe, favoring warming, has been more consistent and it is the one that forecasters are favoring.
Rogers calls for temperatures across much of the eastern half of the U.S. to be about 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 Celsius) higher than normal. Around the Great Lakes, it may be 5 degrees above normal.
Weather Derivatives’ David Salmon says temperatures will rise about 6 degrees above normal through the Great Lakes and into upstate New York and northern New England. There is also a chance that parts of Wyoming and Montana may be warmer than normal, according to Salmon in Belton, Missouri.
MDA’s outlook calls for temperatures to be about 8 to 14 degrees above normal across the eastern Great Lakes. The U.S. Northeast and Ohio Valley region may be 5 to 7 degrees above normal, according to MDA in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
MDA and Rogers split in their 11- to 15-day forecasts for Dec. 17 to Dec. 21. Salmon didn’t provide a forecast for this timeframe.
Rogers predicts temperatures across the U.S. will be more seasonal with the exception of parts of the Southwest and Pacific Northwest, which may be cooler.
MDA’s outlook for the same time calls for temperatures to be 3 to 4 degrees above normal across much of the eastern U.S. with the Southwest cooling slightly.
The normal average temperature in New York on Dec. 13 is 39 degrees, according to MDA. Normal for the day is about 36 in Boston, 46 in Atlanta, 55 in Houston, 40 in Seattle and 54 in Burbank, California.
--Editors: Bill Banker, Richard Stubbe
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