Most points remained on the slightly firmer side in ranging from flat to about a nickel higher. Losses of up to nearly a dime were most prevalent at Northeast citygates.

After getting support from the previous day’s 5.9-cent futures rally, cash trading will have to get by on essentially neutral guidance from Nymex Thursday after the prompt-month contract closed nine-tenths of a cent higher (see related story).

Overall weather patterns are seeing relatively little change in Thursday’s forecast: no more than moderate and mostly seasonal highs from the low 90s through the mid 100s across most of the southern third of the U.S., with warm to mild conditions prevailing in most other areas.

The National Hurricane Center reported monitoring a “large area of disturbed weather” associated with a tropical wave and low-pressure area about 450 miles west-southwest of the southern Cape Verde Islands offshore West Africa, which it gave a 20% chance of tropical cyclone development. Two other systems — an elongated area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms a couple of hundred miles east of the northeast Florida coast and the remnants of Tropical Storm Italy about 675 miles south-southeast of Cape Race, NF — only had 10% odds of strengthening significantly, the agency said.

However, reported the likelihood of Atlantic tropical activity ramping up soon with as many as three named storms forming by the last week of August (see related story).

Peak temperatures have retreated since last week, a utility buyer in the South said, but his company was still experiencing fairly strong power generation load. But with its storage accounts nearly full, the utility is buying fairly modest amounts of spot gas currently, he added.

Cooling load has nearly vanished for the time being in the upper half of the Midwest, said a regional marketer. Other than buying small amounts for clients’ storage injection needs, her company is pretty much shunning the spot market at this point, she said.

IAF Advisors analyst Kyle Cooper said he expects a 33 Bcf storage injection to be reported for the week ending Aug. 5.

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