Temperatures in most of the U.S. outside the Upper Plains will be peaking around 90 degrees or higher Tuesday, and cash gas prices responded to the increase in power generation load by recording double-digit price increases at most points Monday. A couple of western points rose less than a dime, and the Rockies saw small losses of up to nearly 15 cents.

The overall increases ranged from a couple of pennies to a little more than 85 cents and were largest in the Northeast, where New York City’s forecast high in the mid 90s Tuesday will be warmer than most locations in the South. Transco Zone 6-New York City led the parade of price increases Monday.

Tuesday’s cash market will again lack prior-day futures support after the August contract gave up another 3.4 cents Monday.

Despite Monday’s mostly large gains, only a few points in the Rockies and Northeast were not trading at discounts — often sizeable — to first-of-month indexes.

As The Weather Channel commented, it’s something that doesn’t happen often in the Pacific Northwest, but an excessive heat watch has been posted for the Seattle metropolitan area, southwest Washington state and northwest Oregon. High temperatures are expected to soar above 100 degrees in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Wildfires are exacerbating the West’s heat situation. Last week both Transwestern and El Paso reported fire threats in the desert Southwest (see Daily GPI, July 6), but neither caused any damage to gas facilities.

Quotes were barely higher at the PG&E citygate and up about a dime at Malin despite a high-linepack OFO being issued for Tuesday by PG&E (see Transportation Notes). A similar OFO by SoCalGas issued for Saturday was allowed to lapse Sunday.

Although the week is beginning with bullishly hot weather in many areas, the National Weather Service (NWS) has a bearish prediction for the end of the week. In its six-to-10-day forecast for the July 14-18 period posted Sunday, NWS looks for above-normal temperatures to continue throughout most of the West. However, it expects below-normal readings everywhere except in peninsular Florida east of a line running southward along the western edge of the Dakotas and Nebraska and then through central Colorado and New Mexico. The greatest deviations below normal will be in the key gas market of the Midwest, according to the NWS.

A Texas-based marketer thinks Monday’s rally may be a short-lived one, noting that August futures were continuing to move lower in after-hours trading. There’s enough heat across most of the nation that prices might get a little higher Tuesday, he said, but he didn’t expect to see nearly as much strength as Monday. Then the transition to below-normal temperatures in the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. by the start of the weekend means cash prices may start weakening again as early as Wednesday.

Commenting on the flexing of price strength muscle in the Northeast, the market said not only is it very hot in the region, but humidity is very high there.

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