Temperatures in New York City may reach 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius) and 100 in Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington as a heat wave sets more records and pushes up energy consumption.
New York’s temperature may feel like 100 today and as much as 104 tomorrow, said Tim Morrin, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton, New York.
“We have the heat advisory in effect for today through 8 p.m. on Wednesday, so it is an ongoing hazard,” Morrin said by telephone. “It will be the fourth heat wave for the city this summer. We don’t get that every summer.”
Temperatures in New York City have reached 90 seven times this month and 12 times since June 1, according to Weather Service records. The July average going back to 1870 is 6.1 and the annual average is 14.9, Weather Service records show.
Temperatures in the 90s to 100s in the large cities of the eastern U.S. and Canada create high electricity demand because people turn to air conditioning to cool down. The result can be increased prices on the spot market, as well as an increase in natural gas because 32 percent of U.S. power plants use that fuel to generate electricity.
Electric use tends to peak late in the day as people return from work and cool their homes, turn on appliances and cook meals, according to David Salmon, owner of Weather Derivatives in Belton, Missouri.
Salmon predicts energy use may increase by 10 to 30 percent along the U.S. East Coast and 30 to 60 percent across the Midwest from July 18 to July 24.
The high temperatures are also drying out crops in parts of the Midwest.
Corn futures touched a 13-month high in Chicago yesterday as damage from the worst U.S. drought in a generation stoked concern that yields will drop. The Department of Agriculture cut its ratings for U.S. corn conditions for a sixth week yesterday.
Since July 1, 2,946 daily high temperature records, or 3.2 percent of the total, were set or tied across the U.S., according to the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina.
Heat advisories and warnings cover parts of 19 states from Kansas to Massachusetts.
Toronto may reach 99 today, while Montreal’s high is expected to be 84, according to Environment Canada.
A line of potentially severe thunderstorms may signal a drop in temperatures to more seasonal levels starting tomorrow in the Northeast, Morrin said.
New York, Pennsylvania and southern New England, including Boston, have a 15 percent chance of severe storms with damaging winds and hail starting later tomorrow, according to the U.S. Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
Temperatures of at least 3 to 4 degrees above normal are expected to persist across the northern U.S., Ontario and Quebec through next week, according to MDA EarthSat Weather in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Iowa and neighboring states may have temperatures 8 to 14 degrees above normal from July 22 to 26.
The Northeast may cool to seasonal levels July 27 to July 31, while the Midwest remains 5 to 7 degrees above normal, according to MDA.
For July 24, the normal average temperature is 78 in New York. It’s 74 in Boston; 80 in Washington; 85 in Houston; 74 in Chicago; 80 in Atlanta; 67 in Seattle and 75 in Burbank, California, according to MDA.
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