Prices ranged from flat to a little more than $1.70 higher Tuesday at most points. The Rockies market, which had averaged less than a dollar and seen CIG tie the record low price with a quote of 15 cents Monday, led the way with most of the biggest increases. However, most other gains were fairly small in single digits, and a few backsliding points continued a lengthy streak of mixed price movement.

The market is still finding a decent amount of cooling load across the southern third of the U.S. but little elsewhere. The Northeast will be cooling off quite a bit Wednesday with highs dropping into the low 70s. The Midwest will be in a warming trend after the passage of a cold front, but that will bring regional highs only into the low to mid 70s. And much of the upper West will be chilling out enough that snow can be expected in the higher elevations of the northern Rockies and the mountains of Utah, according to The Weather Channel.

Even the desert Southwest is "cooling off" a bit, if you want to call it that. Phoenix's string of 100-degree-plus days should end with a prediction of a high of "only" 98 for Wednesday.

Tuesday's cash market had strong prior-day screen support from the June futures contract's advance of 31.3 cents Monday, but will have negative guidance for Wednesday after the contract gave back 12.7 cents Tuesday. However, futures did manage to remain above the $8 level.

The Rockies got rid of one transport constraint after Northwest ended a Declared Deficiency Period associated with work at the La Plata B Compressor Station that had resulted in a deficiency of 162,000 Dth/d Tuesday (see Daily GPI, June 5). More work is scheduled at two other stations Wednesday and Thursday, but the restrictions will be considerably smaller. In addition, Kern River was reporting normal linepack systemwide Tuesday after having high linepack Monday in its farthest upstream segment.

Despite their big recoveries, Rockies points averaged less than $2 and were still seeing occasional quotes of less than a dollar.

A systemwide high-inventory OFO by PG&E (see Transportation Notes) failed to depress prices at the PG&E citygate, which was flat. Malin even managed to eke out a small gain. Instead, the softening effect tended to be felt in the production area, where El Paso's two San Juan Basin pools fell about a nickel (Bondad) and a little less than a dime (Blanco).

In its six- to 10-day forecast for the June 11-15 workweek, the National Weather Service (NWS) looks for above-normal temperatures almost everywhere east of the Mississippi River; the exceptions are normal conditions in a strip along the Northeast coast and in peninsular Florida. Above-normal readings are also predicted for much of Northern California. NWS expects below-normal temperatures in an area from Washington state and most of Oregon through the Rockies to the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas.

Judging from an advisory Tuesday from Weather 2000, one might expect increasing power generation load in the Northeast in the near future due to "mugginess." The consulting firm noted that the remnants of Tropical Storm Barry had inundated the region, giving New York City 3.91 inches of rain over two days and more than two inches of rain in many other locations. "[T]he stage is set for excessive muggy conditions for the month of June, something that will not be fully incorporated by computer models and CDD [cooling degree day] tallies alone," said Weather 2000.

"Over the next few days signs that the ridge of high pressure over the East is trying to reestablish itself will be seen. Cincinnati will probably have its first 90-degree day of the summer, and the New York metro area will bounce back from a day or two of cooler weather, flirting with 90 once again. Another shot of cooler air (but still above normal for most areas) will temporarily come in for the weekend, but by the middle of next week, a warmer pattern will be established. Combined with the high soil moisture, this will provide for some sultry days and muggy nights from DC to New York to finish the first half of June."

Analyst Ron Denhardt of Strategic Energy & Economic Research expects a storage injection of 109 Bcf to be reported for the week ending June 1. Citigroup's Tim Evans predicts builds of 107 Bcf and 101 Bcf for the weeks ending June 1 and June 8, respectively.

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