STATE COLLEGE, PA Oct. 21, 2004 With energy prices remaining high, the weather may not cooperate for residents of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The AccuWeather.com Winter Storm Center's exclusive 2004-2005 Winter Season Forecast includes a cold forecast for the region with the highest heating oil use.
Some of the coldest weather is expected to affect mid-Atlantic and Northeast states with the highest heating oil use, including Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The AccuWeather.com Winter Storm Center is expecting temperatures to average 2.3 degrees below normal in this area.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the area from Washington, DC, and Maryland to Maine used an average of 675 gallons of heating oil per household during the last six winters. This is based on the average heating degree days during the last six winters. Heating degree days are calculated by subtracting the day's average temperature from 65. If the day's average temperature is above 65, there are no heating degree days.
If winter temperatures are as cold as predicted by the AccuWeather.com Winter Storm Center, then heating degree days would average 7 to 7.5 percent above normal. This would mean the average heating oil use this winter would be 725 gallons.
The average price of heating oil over the last six winters was $1.19 a gallon, with an average per household heating oil expenditure of $803. If prices this winter average $1.75 a gallon, this would mean an average cost per household of $1,269, which is 58 percent higher than the last six winters' average cost per household. If the price averages $2 a gallon, then the average cost per household would be $1,450, which is 81 percent higher than the last six winters' average cost per household.
Adding to this concern is the fear that winter may start early in the East. "An early start to winter would mean that people in these areas are using their furnaces earlier than they would like, especially given the higher energy costs," said Bernie Rayno, AccuWeather.com Winter Storm Center Expert Senior Meteorologist.
The AccuWeather.com Winter Storm Center does have good news for the rest of the nation. Other than the East, the rest of the nation should not have areas where temperatures will average significantly below normal this winter. Temperatures are expected to average at least two degrees above normal in eastern Oregon, Idaho, northern Nevada, southwest Montana, much of Wyoming and north-central Colorado.
Complete details of the AccuWeather.com Winter Storm Center's exclusive 2004-2005 Winter Season Forecast can be found at this link: http://www.accuweather.com/iwxpage/adc/pressroom/prs/wx/wx_115.htm
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