Natural gas futures were down sharply in early trading Monday as forecasters highlighted major warming trends from weather models over the holiday weekend showing mild temperatures well into January. 

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As of around 8:50 a.m. ET, the January Nymex contract had plummeted 26.3 cents to $2.255/MMBtu. February was down 22.8 cents to $2.284.

Models over the weekend shifted toward a stronger positive Eastern Pacific Oscillation and a weaker North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), signaling more warmth, according to Bespoke Weather Services.

The changes “resulted in a massive decrease” in the firm’s forecasted gas-weighted degree days (GWDD), “as the next two weeks alone look to be 25-35 GWDD warmer, or roughly 60-70 Bcf,” Bespoke said. “…Perhaps the back half of January can at...