Bloomberg News

U.S. East Coast May Start Year With Chill Weather, Forecasts Say

December 29, 2011

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. East Coast may greet the New Year with colder weather, according to forecasters.

Average temperatures are expected to be 3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 to 3 Celsius) below normal Jan. 2 to Jan. 6 from the Canadian Maritimes to Florida, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

MDA EarthSat Weather of Gaithersburg, Maryland, predicts temperatures will be seasonal along most of the East Coast, with the coldest weather in Florida. MDA said the Canadian Maritimes and eastern Maine will be warmer than normal.

Energy usage for heating may be near normal for many areas of the U.S. Northeast, according to David Salmon, a meteorologist with Weather Derivatives in Belton, Missouri.

Traders use long-range temperature predictions to gauge energy use and demand for heating and cooling. Power plants consume about 30 percent of the nation’s gas supplies, according to Energy Department data.

Rogers predicts the coldest days for the Midwest during the forecast period will be Jan. 2 and Jan. 3, while the East Coast will see its lowest temperatures on Jan. 3 and Jan. 4. New York may stay below freezing, 32 degrees, both days, he said.

“Next week’s quick cold shot could be the strongest seen so far this season, according to nearly all model guidance this morning,” Rogers said in a note to clients today.

Higher temperatures are forecast to return to much of the U.S., including the Northeast, in the Jan. 7 to Jan. 11 period, according to Rogers and MDA’s 11- to 15-day forecasts.

Salmon doesn’t release an 11- to 15-day forecast.

The normal average temperature in New York for Jan. 5 is about 34 degrees, according to MDA. In Boston, it’s 29; Chicago, 24; Atlanta, 43; Seattle, 41; Houston, 50; and in Burbank, California, it’s 55.

--Editors: Charlotte Porter, Margot Habiby

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Banker at

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