Natural gas futures rallied sharply in early trading Monday as weather models over the weekend advertised a significantly colder Lower 48 temperature outlook heading into early February. 

The February Nymex contract was up 35.5 cents to $3.529/MMBtu at around 8:40 a.m. ET. March was up 12.0 cents to $3.156.

Weather data over the weekend showed milder trends for later this week but trended “sharply colder” for the period starting Sunday and continuing through Feb. 5, according to NatGasWeather. 

“A frosty system will sweep across the Midwest Friday to Saturday. It’s this Midwest system that opens the door for a series of frigid shots over Canada to advance aggressively into the northern and central U.S. Jan. 29-Feb. 5,” bringing low temperatures ranging from the 20s...