The U.S. weather map looks a little like Batman nemesis Two-Face as September comes to an end. Two-Face is blisteringly scarred on one side and cool and chill on the other.
That’s America in a nutshell, with record-high temperatures on the right half of the country and cool – and in some cases snowy – conditions in the West.
The heat and high temperatures that are expected to last into next week, according to AccuWeather meteorologists, are raising estimated cooling costs for a number of major U.S. cities, according to an AccuWeather analysis.
Boston (34.2% higher), Atlanta (33.5%), Washington, D.C. (27.6%) and Cincinnati (27.1%) have experienced significantly higher estimated cooling costs compared to normal for the period from May 1 through Sept. 26.
Many cities across the Southeast have broken multiple daily high-temperature records so far in September. Atlanta, for example, has already set seven daily high-temperature records this month. And on Thursday, four other Georgia cities (Macon, Columbus, Savannah and Augusta) were among six U.S. cities to set new records.
Atlanta could set a city record for most 90-degree days in one year. It already has had 84 days where the high temperature was at least 90 degrees; the record, going back to 1930, is 90 days, which occurred in 1980 and 2011.
Other cities with elevated estimated cooling costs include Salt Lake City (23.5% higher), Birmingham (22.3%), Philadelphia (20.8%) and New Orleans (19.1%).
As the upper-level pattern over the South remains relatively unchanged, many of the Southern cities will experience well-above-average temperatures into early October.
The heating season kicked off on Sept. 1, but estimated heating costs are low across the country. Denver, for example, is 83.5% below normal through Sept. 26, and Green Bay, Wisconsin, is 71.5% below normal.
The cooling season, which typically begins May 1, can last until late in the year in many U.S. cities, while the heating season runs from Sept. 1 until the following April. The costs of cooling and heating, including electricity, vary from year to year and from place to place, so the percentage change in your bill may vary from these percentages.
By John Roach, AccuWeather staff writer