Bloomberg News

Central U.S. May Bake in 90-Degree Temperatures This Week

May 22, 2012

People sunbathe in  Bryant Park in New York.  Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

People sunbathe in Bryant Park in New York. Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A heat wave moving into the central U.S., including St. Louis, will send temperatures into the 90s Fahrenheit (mid-30s Celsius) through the end of the week.

The high in St. Louis tomorrow may reach 85 and then break 90 for the rest of the week, according to the National Weather Service. Three days at 90 degrees or higher is the definition of a heat wave.

Hot weather, especially in the large population centers of the Northeast, increases electric use as people turn to air conditioning to cool homes and businesses. Natural gas futures rose for a second day today on the New York Mercantile Exchange on speculation of warmer-than-normal weather that would boost power-plant demand.

Temperatures from Nebraska into Quebec are expected to reach 8 to 14 degrees above normal through the weekend, according to MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

The heat may linger across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley and reach the U.S. Northeast by next week, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland.

Temperatures may also reach into the 90s for the last three days of the week in Topeka, Kansas; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Memphis, Tennessee.

Across the upper Midwest and southern Canada, temperatures will be warm, though not as severe. Chicago may reach 88 by May 24, according to the weather service. Toronto is forecast to be in the mid-80s, according to Environment Canada.

NYC Rain

New York will be in the 70s with rain most of this week.

By next week, temperatures may be 6 degrees above normal across much of the Northeast from the Ohio Valley to southern Maine, said David Salmon, owner of Weather Derivatives in Belton, Missouri. Salmon expects temperatures to reach as much as 10 degrees above normal in the Washington-Baltimore area and in upstate New York from May 28 to June 1.

There may be a cooldown after the U.S. Memorial Day holiday on May 28, Rogers said. “Any cooling looks relatively brief,” he said.

The normal average temperature in New York on May 29 is 67 degrees, according to MDA. It’s 61 in Boston, 69 in Washington, 74 in Atlanta, 79 in Houston, 77 in Dallas, 58 in Seattle and 67 in Burbank, California.

Later in the growing season, sustained periods of hot dry weather can affect agricultural yields.

“It is still too early for notable impact,” said Joel Widenor, vice president at Commodity Weather. “The crops are just not far enough along.”

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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