By Brian K. Sullivan
BOSTON - Temperatures in the U.S. Northeast may start to rise above normal this weekend and stay there through the middle of the month.
Readings across most of New England are expected to be 5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 to 3.9 Celsius) above the norm from Feb. 9 to Feb. 18, according to MDA Weather Systems in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
From New York to Chicago, temperatures are expected to be as much as 7 degrees warmer than average from Feb. 9 to Feb. 13 before cooling to 3 to 4 degrees higher than normal Feb. 14 to Feb. 18, MDA said.
“Though this period differs from expectations set forth late last week, warmth remains favored to linger in the Northeast while most of the coldest anomalies will be found out west,” MDA said in the forecast for Feb. 14 to Feb. 18.
The high in New York City on Feb. 16 may be 53 degrees Fahrenheit (11.6 Celsius), 11 above the norm, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.
Higher-than-normal temperatures in the large population areas of the eastern U.S. can mean less demand for energy to heat homes and businesses and lower prices for heating oil and natural gas.