Continued bearishness in the weather-driven demand outlook saw natural gas futures reverse lower in early trading Wednesday. After rallying 9.9 cents in the previous session, the November Nymex contract was back under the $5 mark at around 8:45 a.m. ET, down 11.3 cents to $4.975/MMBtu.

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Prices in Tuesday’s session were able to “bounce higher…off a solid technical support level” but were back lower early Wednesday, Bespoke Weather Services noted. Higher production and lower liquefied natural gas export volumes gave the latest natural gas balance data a “bearish tilt” as of early Wednesday, according to the firm.

Thursday’s U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) storage report will offer up “the next key data point to ponder, with our estimate coming in right at 90 Bcf,” Bespoke said, adding that “we do see some downside risk to that number, but not enough to prevent it from being looser week/week, which is no surprise given the differences in wind generation.”

Last week EIA reported an 81 Bcf injection into Lower 48 gas stocks, growing inventories to 3,369 Bcf, 4.9% below the five-year average of 3,543 Bcf.

Based on recent forecasts for mild weather to close out the month, Energy Aspects said its projected end-October carryout figure has been “creeping toward 3.6 Tcf, with injection activity extending through the first week of November.”

Still, the firm said the additional cushion in stockpiles “does little to change our narrative around risks for the heating season. Ultimately, the prospect of gas rationing prices and deliverability risks hinges on how cold the winter will be.”

To trigger these scenarios, winter temperatures will need to approach 10% colder than normal on average, or there would need to be “significant cold early in the season,” Energy Aspects said.

The firm said it does not expect “potential deliverability concerns to be solved by a mild November.” Power burn this heating season “is much less price sensitive,” and on the supply side “we see little opportunity for a significant step-up in output,” the firm added.

As for the latest forecast outlook early Wednesday, Bespoke viewed the data as largely unchanged day/day.

“This keeps us in a decidedly low demand regime, with any variability simply able to bring demand closer to normal for a couple of days here and there,” Bespoke said. “The Pacific side of the pattern remains quite hostile toward any true cold air delivery into the U.S., though does look a little less hostile as we reach early November, something we will continue to monitor.”

Weather will be “the main factor to watch” in terms of prices moving forward, Bespoke added. “Our ideas would bring more pressure to prices, favoring a November warmer skew, for now.”

December Nymex crude oil futures were off 95 cents to $81.49/bbl at around 8:45 a.m. ET.