December natural gas is expected to open 9 cents higher Monday morning at $3.07 as weekend weather models injected a cooler temperature regime. Overnight oil markets rose.

Weekend weather data turned cooler. “Weather guidance over the weekend added a significant amount of bullish risk,” said Bespoke Weather Services, a Harrison, NY-based forecasting and consulting firm. “Though we had expected the second half of November to trend decently colder (which we have outlined for weeks), these trends arrived on model guidance slightly earlier than expected .

“We do see some risks that we trend warmer in the medium-range, but long-range models are finally picking up on the colder pattern drivers that we expected to take charge to close out November and bring in December.”

Winter has some catching up to do. Although it’s early heating load is off to a slow start. Data from shows New York City for the first five days of November at 39 HDD, far short of the pace to get to a normal November of 519 HDD. Chicago is at 78 HDD, and the monthly average for November is 707 HDD.

Risk managers are long natural gas for speculative and end user accounts. “[T]he gas market was able to rally back to the unchanged level by week’s end, and moderate temperatures and more than adequate supplies continue to pressure the gas market,” said Mike DeVooght, president of DEVO Capital in a weekend note to clients. “Strong alternative fuels and short covering and end user buying has been keeping a floor under the market.

“On a trading basis, we did hit our buy levels for speculators and end users. We continue to stand aside for producers,” he said. DeVooght is currently long the December and January contracts from $3.00.

In overnight Globex trading December crude oil gained 31 cents to $55.95/bbl and December RBOB gasoline rose fractionally to $1.7962/gal.