Bloomberg News

Colder Weather May Arrive in U.S. Northeast by Mid-January

January 09, 2012

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Northeast may get another blast of cold air by mid-January, according to forecasters.

Commodity Weather Group LLC and MDA EarthSat Weather both predict temperatures will drop at least 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.7 Celsius) below normal across parts of the Northeast from Jan. 16 to Jan. 20.

“A polar trough is expected to shift south and east into Canada and will help release a shot of potent cold out of western Canada into the Northeast U.S.,” MDA, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said in its 11- to 15-day forecast.

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.

A long-term weather pattern that has kept milder air in the eastern U.S. shows indications of breaking up, which may mean colder weather will take hold, said Jon Gottschalck, head of forecast operations for the U.S. Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Maryland.

That pattern, known as the Arctic Oscillation, may change to a neutral or negative phase in coming weeks, Gottschalk said by e-mail. When the oscillation moves to a negative phase, colder air is able to move farther south from the Arctic and linger longer over parts of the U.S.

Near-Term Warmth

Much of the northern U.S. will experience above-normal temperatures into early next week, according to 1- to 5-day outlooks from both MDA and Commodity Weather, based in Bethesda, Maryland.

That may give way to more seasonal weather by the middle of next week, said MDA and Commodity President Matt Rogers.

Weather Derivatives’ 6- to 10-day forecast for Jan. 12 to Jan. 18 predicts much of the U.S. East Coast will be about 2 degrees above normal, with parts of northern New England and New York about 6 degrees higher.

Texas and the U.S. Gulf Coast will probably be cooler than normal, according to Weather Derivatives owner David Salmon in Belton, Missouri.

The normal average temperature in New York for Jan. 12 is about 33 degrees, according to MDA. The average is 29 in Boston, 23 in Chicago, 43 in Atlanta, 42 in Seattle, 53 in Houston, and 55 in Burbank, California.

--Editors: Charlotte Porter, Bill Banker

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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