March natural gas futures continued to weaken early Monday as weekend weather model guidance struggled to cool, extending a period of mild temperatures across much of the country. The Nymex March gas futures contract was trading about 4 cents lower at around $2.69 at around 8:40 a.m. ET.
The slide came as the latest weather data held onto a mild pattern for the next several days, despite having decent upstream negative Eastern Pacific Oscillation ridging that could porten cold risks across some key population regions, according to Bespoke Weather Service. American guidance remained some of the most bearish, maintaining ridging across the East that, at best, keeps gas-weighted degree days (GWDD) right around seasonal averages through Week 2.
“Other guidance shows stronger eastern ridging lingering too, as we see significant cold across the Great Plains that can leak into the Midwest, but struggles to really penetrate into the East,” Bespoke chief meteorologist Jacob Meisel said.
“This comes even as tropical forcing looks to trend in a bit more favorable of a direction for cold moving forward, leading us to still feel that European guidance has some of the most accurate output and that risk should be skewed in a colder direction in the middle and latter portions of February.”
If the current forecast were to be verified, gas prices could temporarily stabilize, according to EBW Analytics. By later in February, however, as gas-heating degree day climate norms start to fall off rapidly, “natural gas prices are likely to lose further ground,” CEO Andy Weissman said.
Crude oil futures were trading about 50 cents lower at around $54/75/bbl, and RBOB gasoline futures were trading fractionally higher at around $1.44/gal.