Heat levels would keep reaching the low 90s to 110 area Tuesday in the southern third of the U.S., but that failed to keep the weekend's price gains going Monday. Otherwise, peak temperatures were forecast to be limited to the 80s in most other areas outside the south end of the Northeast.

The result was price drops ranging from 2-3 cents to nearly 35 cents at a large majority of points Monday, with the Gulf Coast and Northeast accounting for most of the largest declines.

A spike of about 80 cents at the Florida citygate and flat numbers at Florida Gas Zone 3 were the glaring exceptions to general softness as an Overage Alert Day by Florida Gas Transmission neared two weeks of existence by being extended through the weekend into at least Monday. Empress and Westcoast Station 2 in Western Canada also were flat.

The August futures drop of 6.7 cents Friday was a further drag on the cash market; the prompt-month Nymex contract will provide little new guidance Tuesday after dropping another 0.9 cent (see related story).

Monday's price softness was in spite of two tropical waves in the Caribbean Sea -- and they were relatively negligible to the gas market as of Monday afternoon. The first, near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, had only a low chance (20%) of becoming a tropical cyclone over the succeeding 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said, although development chances would get more favorable after that.

Showers and thunderstorms associated with another tropical wave over parts of the central and western Caribbean Sea remained disorganized, NHC said, and it gave the wave a near-zero percent of developing into a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.

The National Weather Service looks for above-normal temperatures to continue dominating most weather east of the Rockies through the weekend and into early next week. For the time being warm to hot conditions rule in the South, Southwest and Midcontinent, but other than low 90s highs due Tuesday in such places as Philadelphia and New York City, much of North America will be cool to mildly warm.

A Midwest marketer said local conditions were "warm instead of hot for now," but the forecast called for significantly hotter temperatures during August. Even with the milder weather, customers are still requesting a little spot gas each day, she said.

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