Bloomberg News

U.S. Northeast May Remain Seasonably Chilly Into April

March 27, 2012

The U.S. Northeast may continue to have seasonal temperatures into next week as the center of the country remains warmer than normal, according to forecasters.

Temperatures through the upper Great Plains, Midwest and parts of the South will range from 5 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 to 4.4 Celsius) above normal from April 2 to April 6, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

Computer forecast models suggest a shift from last week’s record-breaking warmth to cooler weather is under way, he said.

“The stand-back big picture is still a warm-prevailing pattern, but with sufficient variability to prevent the sustained, super-warming that has been so dominant here in March,” Rogers said in a note to clients today.

Commodities traders watch temperature predictions to gauge energy use and demand. About 51 percent of U.S. households use natural gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.

Temperatures have swung from highs in the 80s on March 22 to lows in the 30s yesterday across the parts of the Midwest and Northeast, according to the National Weather Service.

Boston had a high temperature of 83 on March 22 and a low of 32 yesterday, the weather service said. Cleveland went from a high of 83 on March 22 to a low of 33 yesterday, while in New York City the March 22 high was 78 and yesterday’s low 34.

From March 1 to March 22, 6,077 daily high temperature records were set in the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Freeze Warnings

A freeze warning is in effect from Michigan to New Jersey until later today because temperatures may drop below 32 degrees and harm plants that started growing last week when the weather was warmer, according to the weather service.

The lowest temperature recorded today at official U.S. observation sites was 10 in Frenchville, Maine, where the high March 21 was 75, said Chris Vaccaro, spokesman for NOAA.

The cold air is also dry and comes with wind that has raised the fire threat from northern New Jersey to Maine.

Forecasters differ on how much cooler the U.S. will get from April 4 to April 10.

In his 11- to 15-day forecast, Rogers calls for temperatures to be 3 to 5 degrees above normal from the central U.S. to the Northeast.

MDA EarthSat Weather predicts a narrower band of warm air will be concentrated mainly from New Mexico through the Great Plains. The eastern and western U.S. are expected to be seasonal from April 4 to April 10, according to MDA, while Florida will be 3 to 4 degrees below normal.

In New York, the normal average temperature for April 3 is 48, according to MDA in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It’s 44 in Boston, 45 in Chicago, 53 in St. Louis, 59 in Atlanta, 62 in Dallas, 67 in Houston, 49 in Seattle and 60 in Burbank, California.

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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