Arctic Blast Next Few Days, Milder Early Next Week, But Cold Returns Feb 13-16
Wednesday, February 2: March’22 nat gas prices endured numerous wild 25¢ swings Tuesday, ultimately rallying after hours, aided by the midday weather data suggesting a cold pattern would return Feb 13-16 after a milder break Feb 8-12. The overnight GFS and EC were both warmer trending with this Feb 8-12 break, but with the GFS colder trending Feb 13-16 and plenty cold enough for this important period, leading to overnight prices testing $5. The EC didn’t agree on the amount of cold into the northern US Feb 13-14 and was warmer trending with it but did still bring widespread cold into the northern US Feb 15-16. Essentially, the GFS is quicker with cold returning Feb 13-15. In addition, a frigid Arctic blast will sweep across the central and northern US the next few days, including hard freezes deep into Texas and the South, along with areas of ice and snow. Demand will be impressive Thu-Sat over the Midwest as lows drop into the -20s to 10s, but also strong over Texas as lows reach the 0s to 30s. This Arctic blast isn’t as intimidating as last February’s Texas freeze but potent nonetheless and where freeze-offs are expected, as well as potential impacts to the energy grid Fri-Sat. After a mild break early next week, the GFS favors frigid air over S. Canada returning into the northern US Feb 13-16, while the EC also sees cold air returning into the US, although a full 2 days slower than the GFS, but still by Feb 15-16. As we’ve been stating in our reports, it’s up to the nat gas markets to decide if they are willing to overlook the milder break Feb 8-12 as long as cold returns Feb 13-17, which we thought was likely, and proving true today with prices sharply higher and busting through $4 with a vengeance.