Natural gas futures continued to rebound early Tuesday as overnight forecasts advertised notably more frigid conditions for the Midwest and East later this month. The January Nymex contract was trading 8.5 cents higher at $2.414/MMBtu at around 8:40 a.m. ET.
The overnight Global Forecast System (GFS) extended colder trends for the Dec. 10-17 period, according to NatGasWeather. The warmer European model trended milder through early next week but colder for Dec. 11-15 to add heating demand for the 15-day outlook period overall.
“Where the data has been most notably colder trending is for Dec. 11-13 as a strong cold shot sweeps across the Midwest and Northeast,” NatGasWeather said. “Most of the data shows milder conditions returning across the East Dec. 14-16 for lighter demand, although inconsistent and with the GFS remaining colder than the rest of the data.”
Still, heading into Tuesday’s session the European model had picked up 19 heating degree days over the previous 24 hours, closing the gap on its American counterpart, according to the forecaster.
Maxar’s Weather Desk similarly highlighted colder trends projected during days six through 10 of the outlook period.
“Significant changes are made to the forecast as models come into better agreement in the establishment of a polar connection for mid- to late period surface high pressure,” Maxar said. “However, warmer adjustments are along the East Coast in the early half, preceding a cold front.
“Much above normal temperatures are early in the period from Texas to the Midwest and at mid-period along the East Coast,” the forecaster said. “Following the frontal passage, a round of much and strong below normal temperatures is in the Midwest from days eight through 10. Much belows expand toward the East late.”
According to EBW Analytics Group, the colder forecast trends accounted for a net 33 Bcf day/day increase in cumulative weather-driven demand expectations over the next three storage report weeks. Most
“A longer lasting cold shift, however, remains unlikely,” EBW analysts said. “Weeks 2 and 3 are still expected to be slightly warmer than normal, and a much warmer shift remains in the outlook for Week 4.”
Any significant colder trends for the 15-day forecast could see January test resistance around $2.510-2.570, the analysts said.
January crude oil futures were off 59 cents to $55.37/bbl at around 8:40 a.m. ET, while January RBOB gasoline was trading 1.5 cents lower at $1.5583/gal.