Colder temperatures that moved into the central and eastern United States over the extended holiday weekend should stick around for another two weeks, according to Salomon Smith Barney meteorologist Jon Davis.

In Wednesday’s “Energy Weather — Nat Gas and Heating Oil” report, Davis said the cold weather that has moved across the United States over the past few days has been impressive because it covered basically all areas from the Rockies to the East Coast and came after an “exceptionally warm” first three weeks of December.

Despite the cold trend, Davis said there is no sign of any “monster arctic air masses” surging into the Lower 48 over the next 10-12 days. Instead, the air masses will be “weak to moderate while others are stronger” over that period. Looking past the 12-day outlook, the meteorologist warned that there are some “hints” of a “major league arctic air mass” moving in, but said that it should be something to monitor not to forecast.

Davis said that virtually the entire region from the East Coast to the Rockies will have below normal temperatures well into the first part of next month. He specified that during this timeframe temperatures would range from close to normal to 8-12 degrees below normal.

EarthSat meteorologist Paul Markert’s forecast revealed more of the same. “For the six- to 10-day period through Jan. 5, this [cold] pattern is supposed to continue with the big ridge out West and a strong trough in the eastern seaboard,” Markert told NGI. “From Boston to Cincinnati to DC, expect below normal temperatures. Chicago will be normal, though, because there will be a brief warm-up there in the six- to 10-day period.”

Davis said heating demand during the next 10-12 days in all of the major population centers of the central and eastern United States will be above normal, but he cautioned that he would not call it “extreme.”

Markert also said he believes that extremely cold weather is in store for the East Coast after approximately two weeks. “Going into the 11-15 day period that goes through Jan. 10, indications are that a couple of arctic high-pressure systems could push into the eastern third of the country,” Markert said. “So instead of below, we are going to see much below for the eastern third, including Chicago this time.”

As for the western U.S., both Davis and Markert said they expect to see above normal temps for the season over the next few weeks.

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