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Report: Polar vortex broke U.S. natural gas consumption record | TribLIVE.com
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Report: Polar vortex broke U.S. natural gas consumption record

Stephen Huba
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Emily Balser | Tribune-Review

Last week’s polar vortex resulted in record natural gas consumption in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration .

The polar vortex, in which colder-than-normal temperatures blanketed much of the Midwest and Northeast, including Western Pennsylvania, set a new single-day record for natural gas demand on Jan. 30, topping the previous record set on Jan. 1, 2018, the EIA said.

Total estimated consumption by the power, industrial and residential/commercial sectors, as well as total estimated natural gas exports, reached 145.9 billion cubic feet on Jan. 30, compared with the previous record of 143.9 billion cubic feet set in 2018, according to data from PointLogic Energy.

Daily temperatures in the Lower 48 states averaged 28 degrees for the week ending Jan. 31, which was 6 degrees colder than the 30-year average for the same period and 11 degrees lower than 2018 levels, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Midwest was the most heavily affected, with temperatures lower than normal by 25 degrees or more for three consecutive days, the EIA said.

Estimated use of natural gas by the residential and commercial sectors spiked at 70.9 billion cubic feet on Jan. 30, the third-largest residential and commercial daily consumption of natural gas on record, according to data from PointLogic Energy. The previous record was set on two days in January 2014 during another polar vortex event.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter @shuba_trib.