With forecasts offering a much colder outlook for the final week of January to bolster weather-driven demand expectations, natural gas futures were up sharply in early trading Tuesday.

NGI Morning Natural Gas Price & Markets Coverage

Coming off a 27.6-cent decline ahead of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend, the February Nymex contract was up 27.3 cents to $3.692/MMBtu at around 8:40 a.m. ET.

Colder forecast trends over the prior 36 hours had shifted the outlook for the Jan. 25-31 time frame “solidly to the bullish side,” NatGasWeather told clients early Tuesday.

“Frosty Canadian air will pour into the western and central U.S. this weekend…for a bump in national demand,” though conditions will remain milder for the eastern Lower 48, the firm said. “Cold air will finally advance into the East next...