Though not completely unexpected, natural gas futures cratered Monday as long-range weather outlooks grew even milder. With December on track to come in within the Top 10 warmest on record, the January Nymex gas futures contract settled at $2.406, down 16.9 cents from Friday’s close. February dropped 15.3 cents to $2.433.


Spot gas prices also weakened as mostly comfortable temperatures were forecast for the United States. NGI’s Spot Gas National Avg. fell 12.5 cents to $2.405.

After dropping hints last week that the atmospheric pattern taking shape would portend a warm December, all guidance “congealed more solidly” around the idea by Monday, according to Bespoke Weather Services. This pattern may flood much of the country with warmer air once again, similar to what was...