With weather models trending hotter over the weekend to strengthen the cooling demand outlook for the second half of June, natural gas futures surged in early trading Monday. The July Nymex contract was up 12.6 cents to $2.298/MMBtu at around 8:40 a.m. ET.

NGI Morning Natural Gas Price & Markets Coverage

Lackluster cooling demand to open the month has left the market impatient for the arrival of more robust heat over key regions. However, updated forecasts as of early Monday suggested more impressive summer heat was finally on its way.

Both the American and European models added cooling degree days over the weekend, with hotter trends focused on the June 14-20 time frame, according to NatGasWeather.

“While the pattern through June 12-13 still isn’t hot enough to satisfy, the pattern for mid and late June favors...