As Florida braced for a major hurricane to make landfall, with the storm expected to inflict potentially “catastrophic” damage to the state’s peninsula, natural gas futures retreated in early trading Wednesday.

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The expiring October Nymex contract was down 8.1 cents to $6.570/MMBtu at around 8:50 a.m. ET. November was off 3.2 cents to $6.728.

As of 8 a.m. ET, Hurricane Ian was bearing down on the west coast of Florida, threatening “catastrophic storm surge, winds and flooding in the Florida peninsula starting later today,” the National Hurricane Center warned.

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Ian was carrying maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. NHC predicted rainfall totals of 12-18 inches in some parts of Florida, with “local maxima up to 24 inches.”

The Category 4 storm, churning about 60 miles southwest of Punta Gorda, FL, was moving northeast, according to NHC.

Ian was expected to “slowly track northeastwards across Florida today and tomorrow, producing widespread flooding and risks of tornadoes,” Maxar’s Weather Desk said early Wednesday. “Ian will slide off the northeastern Florida coast briefly Thursday night before turning to the northwest on Friday and tracking into the southern Appalachians, where it is expected to dissipate.”

Power outages and cooler Southeast temperatures associated with the storm suggest bearish impacts for natural gas prices, according to NatGasWeather.

“LNG facilities aren’t at risk of a direct hit from the eyewall,” though the Elba Island facility on the Georgia coast “will receive heavy rains and gusty winds,” the firm said.

Ian’s destructive impacts will likely join a longer list of variables for traders to consider Wednesday, according to NatGasWeather.

“As if there couldn’t be any more drama in the natural gas markets, there shockingly is,” following reports of damage to the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipeline systems, “an event that further threatens energy stability in Europe,” NatGasWeather said. “Where the clues lead will be of great interest in the coming days and could lead to huge daily moves in global prices that have the potential to carry over to U.S. markets.”

There’s also the looming expiration of the October Nymex contract Wednesday, the firm noted.

It’s “difficult to know” which factors could have the greatest influence on prices, “but violent swings should be expected,” NatGasWeather added.