ENERGY

East Coast’s record-breaking heat will fade away by next week

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/KEVIN P. COUGHLIN
THE HEAT THAT may topple temperature records in New York City and the East Coast for a second day isn’t expected to last much longer.
Posted 6/21/12

BOSTON - The heat that may topple temperature records in New York City and the East Coast for a second day isn’t expected to last much longer.

An all-time high for the date of 98 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius) may be set in Central Park today, breaking the old mark of 97 set in 1953 and again in 1988, said Lauren Nash, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton, N.Y.

“We could tie and break a few records today,” Nash said.

Daily record highs were set in Newark, N.J., at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and in Hartford, Conn., yesterday and more may fall today. High heat warnings and air quality alerts have been issued from Quebec to Virginia as hundreds lost power and more were asked to conserve, according to utilities.

The weather on the first full day of calendar summer probably won’t be a preview of how things will be for the rest of the season.

“Today’s heat could rank as one of the summer’s hottest for the East Coast cities,” said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Md. “I don’t expect this to be a precursor to another summer like last summer.”

Rogers said there may be a few more heat spikes later in the season. He doesn’t expect weeks of above-average temperatures across the region through the season because an El Nino is forecast to develop in the Pacific Ocean later this year.

El Nino

That weather pattern often means that heat increases that drive electricity usage are balanced by more seasonal temperatures, he said. The result is that natural gas prices won’t get much support from the weather.

“In terms of the gas market, there is always another cooling right around the corner,” Rogers said.

Nash said temperatures in New York are expected to be much cooler by the start of next week. A high of 76 is forecast for June 25, according to the Weather Service.

By next week, temperatures from Ontario and Quebec to the U.S. mid-Atlantic states are expected to be 3 to 4 degrees below normal, according to MDA EarthSat Weather’s 6- to 10-day outlook for June 26 to June 30.

The heat has already broken in Chicago, where temperatures reached 94 to 95 for the past three days. Today’s high is expected to be 83, according to the Weather Service.

Heat shift

Above-normal temperatures will shift to the southern U.S. from New Mexico to Louisiana, according to MDA in Gaithersburg, Md.

For today, New York will keep 455 cooling centers open, according to a city statement.

In Washington, the elderly and people with respiratory problems were urged to stay inside, according to a city statement. Residents were also cautioned to limit their exposure to the sun “especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when it is strongest.”

The combination of high temperatures and humidity make the air feel even hotter, which is called the heat index. Today’s values in New York and northern New Jersey will range from 100 to 104, according to the Weather Service.

The high at LaGuardia and in Philadelphia is expected to be 100, according to the weather service. Boston and Richmond, Va., may reach 98 and Washington, Baltimore and Trenton, New Jersey, may see 99, the agency said.

The high in Toronto yesterday was 94 and is expected to reach 91 today, according to Environment Canada. In Montreal yesterday’s high was 90.8 and it’s expected to reach 91 today, according to the Canadian weather service.

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