March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Temperatures across most of the U.S. may climb to seasonal levels as April arrives, ending more than two weeks of widespread colder-than-normal readings, MDA Weather Services said.
The rise from March’s much-below-normal temperatures won’t be dramatic because a weather pattern known as the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation will persist in keeping the U.S. cool, according to MDA in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
"The forecast has been adjusted slightly to the warmer side in parts of the South and East, though persistence of the negative North Atlantic Oscillation still limits the potential for an abrupt, widespread warmup within this time frame," MDA said in its forecast for March 30 to April 3.
Natural gas futures rose to an 18-month high yesterday on the cold that is expected to persist through the rest of March across large Midwest and East Coast cities. From March 20 to 29, temperatures in the central U.S. may be 8 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 8 Celsius) below normal, according to MDA.
Commodity Weather Group LLC President Matt Rogers differed with MDA, predicting that temperatures will remain 3 to 5 degrees below normal as April arrives.
The normal average temperature in New York City on April 1 is 48 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. In Boston it’s 43; in Chicago, 44; in St. Louis, 52; and in Houston, 67.
Rogers said he made his colder forecast in part because only the model used by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts predicts more seasonal temperatures to start April. Models used in the U.S. and Canada tend to show cold lingering at the start of the month.
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--Editors: Charlotte Porter, Bill Banker
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