The expiring September natural gas contract is set to open 2 cents lower Monday morning at $2.85 as traders largely discount an array of weather factors in play. Overnight oil markets slumped.

Weather forecasters are calling for an ever so slight moderation in the outlook for above-normal temperatures. WSI Corp. in its Monday morning six- to 10-day outlook said, “[Monday’s] forecast is cooler early and warmer late in the period over the eastern two-thirds of the nation when compared to Friday’s forecast. Some of these changes offset each other, so CONUS PWCDDs are down 0.9 to 46.5 for the period. Forecast confidence is near average today. Medium-range models are in good agreement with the progression and development of a -PNA [Pacific North American] driven pattern, but tropical activity is an ongoing source of uncertainty.

“The Northwest and north-central U.S. have risks to the cooler side, while the Southeast and Texas could run a bit warmer.”

The tropical Atlantic and Gulf remain highly active, yet for the moment the impact on any Gulf infrastructure shut-ins seems unlikely.

At 8 a.m. EDT Monday the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported Hurricane Gaston had up to 115 mph winds and was moving north in the central Atlantic.

Tropical Depression 8 was headed to coastal North Carolina. It was 210 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras and was holding 35 mph winds. It was headed toward the west at 9 mph and NHC had issued a Tropical Storm Watch.

Poorly organized Tropical Depression 9 was 155 miles west-southwest of Key West, FL, and continued to hold 35 mph and was also moving to the west at 9 mph. NHC said it could become a Tropical Storm later Monday.

NHC was also following Disturbance 1, a weak trough offshore central Texas. It was not expected to strengthen as it drifts to the southwest.

In overnight Globex trading October crude oil fell 61 cents to $47.03/bbl and October RBOB gasoline fell 2 cents to $1.4092/gal.