Natural gas futures were trading slightly higher early Wednesday as updated forecasts continued to point to a milder August pattern following the intense heat experienced earlier in the summer. 

NGI Morning Natural Gas Price & Markets Coverage

The September Nymex contract was up 3.1 cents to $7.864/MMBtu at around 8:45 a.m. ET.

The latest weather model runs maintained cooler trends that developed over the weekend, according to NatGasWeather.

Models showed “demand falling to seasonal levels late this week through next week,” particularly in the European model, “which is preferred over the hot-biased” American dataset, the firm said.

“With the European model trending cooler over the weekend, then further cooler the past few days, it’s now forecasting a rather neutral pattern much of the next 15-days, if not a touch bearish a few days due to cooler temperatures arriving over the eastern half of the U.S.,” NatGasWeather said.

Maxar’s Weather Desk recently observed a cooler trending outlook from the Midwest to the East for Sunday through Aug. 18.

“Much above normal temperatures are in the Northwest during the second half, including late period peaks at 100 degrees in Portland and low to mid-90s in Seattle,” the forecaster said. “A trough settles into the East later this week and deepens over the eastern half next week. Temperatures fall below normal at times from the Midwest to the East.”

Temperatures for the eastern half of the Lower 48 are expected to average near normal further out in the Aug. 19-23 time frame, according to the forecaster.

In terms of short-term price action, NatGasWeather said it’s a “difficult call” to predict, with positioning ahead of Thursday’s Energy Information Administration likely to influence trading.

“While weather patterns aren’t nearly as intimidating over the next 15 days, especially in the European data, there are still risks the pattern returns to a more pronounced above-normal demand regime down the road,” NatGasWeather said. “If heat were to return later in the month, this could prove bullish as we head toward September’s contract expiration, assuming things stay on track for Freeport LNG to return in October.”