With the first freezes of the season forecast in parts of the Midwest in the next couple of days and even the southern tier of states due to feel some significant chill by midweek, cash prices rose at all but one point Monday. The advance also got major support from the previous Friday’s spike of 17.2 cents by November futures and — to a much lesser extent — the return of industrial load from its usual weekend decline.
A loss of about 20 cents in Tennessee’s Line 300 in Zone 4, where the low-end quote fell further to $1.10 and the average was only in the mid $1.30s, was the exception to double-digit spikes everywhere else that ranged from about 15 cents to the 35-cent area. Tennessee Line 200 in Zone 4 averaged about $2.50 higher than its Line 300 counterpart.
The screen will have slightly negative guidance for Tuesday’s cash market after the prompt-month futures contract dropped 1.5 cents (see related story).
What The Weather Channel (TWC) called a “wet and windy eastern storm” will be followed by a surge of very chilly air from Canada into the U.S. midsection, penetrating into much of the South at midweek.
While cold morning temperatures Wednesday won’t threaten records, they could bring the first season’s first freezes right on schedule to some Midwest cities like Kansas City, Des Moines, IA, and Omaha, NE, TWC said. And in parts of the South temperatures are expected tumble 20-30 degrees from Tuesday into Wednesday. Memphis, TN, Tulsa, OK, and Nashville, TN could go from the 80s early in the week to seeing frost on Thursday morning, TWC said.
The Northeast and much of the West are expected to range from chilly to cold through at least Tuesday, while California and the desert Southwest will stay on the mild side.
Northern Natural Gas indicated how cold its Upper Midwest market area will be getting with a bulletin board posting saying that with a normal system weighted temperature of 49 at this time of year, it projected averages going from 46 Monday to 41 Tuesday and 40 Wednesday before rebounding slightly to 42 Thursday. Northern’s demarc and Ventura trading points both rose 30 cents or more.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) began Monday monitoring both a large low-pressure system in the south-central Gulf of Mexico about 100 miles north of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, which it rated as having 60% chances of tropical cyclone development, and another far to the east of the Windward Islands. That afternoon the second one had faded from NHC’s monitoring map, and the first was being called an area of disturbed weather with less favorable development odds being lowered to 30%. It was moving to the north and expected to bring heavy rainfall and gusty winds to western Cuba, the Florida Keys and southern Florida.
Although several pipelines have anticipated the colder weather by removing positive imbalance restrictions, there are exceptions in the other direction. Gulfstream issued an advisory Monday saying linepack is currently at the high end of its range of acceptable operating levels. And Spectra Energy’s Egan Hub and Moss Bluff storage facilities in South Louisiana and East Texas, respectively, said they anticipate the potential for high injection activity over the coming weeks and advised customers of the potential for restrictions on interruptible injections.
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