Natural gas futures continued to tumble in early trading Wednesday amid a mild December temperature outlook that trended even warmer overnight. The January Nymex contract was down 12.2 cents to $4.445/MMBtu at around 8:50 a.m. ET, after a combined 91.0-cent swoon over the previous two sessions.

NGI Morning Natural Gas Price & Markets Coverage

The European weather model trended warmer overnight for weather systems moving into the northern United States late this weekend into next week, according to NatGasWeather.

The model continued to advertise “exceptionally warm and bearish” conditions through the end of the current week and for the Dec. 11-16 time frame, when temperatures are projected to come in around 10-30 degrees warmer than normal over “vast stretches” of the country, the firm said.

As of early Wednesday the European model overall was calling for temperatures to deviate to the warmer side of normal by a “massive” 99 heating degree days, equating to nearly 150 Bcf less natural gas demand, NatGasWeather said.

“What continues to make the weather data extremely bearish is the end of the 15-day forecast remains much warmer than normal over the important and southern and eastern U.S., suggesting bearish weather headwinds will carry over to forecast days 16-20 as well,” the firm said.

Maxar’s Weather Desk similarly observed warmer trends in the 11-15 day period, or from Dec. 11-15, in its latest forecast Wednesday.

“The forecast trends warmer from the Midcontinent to the East during this period,” Maxar said. The overall pattern was seen “supporting a widespread coverage of above and much above normal temperatures. The exception is in Western Canada, where below normal temperatures are forecast in the second half, and the West Coast of the U.S., where temperatures are closer to normal.”

Looking ahead to this week’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) storage report, Energy Aspects issued a preliminary estimate for a net 72 Bcf withdrawal for the week ended Nov. 26. If realized, such a print would see the withdrawal rate pick up following the prior week’s reported 21 Bcf pull.

Energy Aspects modeled a 5.2 Bcf/d week/week increase in residential/commercial demand on estimated 20% higher space heating demand.

“Salts are on track for their first withdrawal of the heating season, with flows pointing to the flexible caverns drawing by 5 Bcf” for the period, the firm said.

NGI’s machine learning model is calling for a 58 bcf pull for the upcoming report. By comparison, last year EIA recorded a 4 Bcf withdrawal for the similar week, and the five-year average is a withdrawal of 31 Bcf.

January Nymex crude oil futures were up $1.72 to $67.90/bbl at around 8:50 a.m. ET.