Colder US Weather Pattern Forecast March 8-16, if not Longer
March 3, 2023: April’23 nat gas futures closed 4¢ lower Thursday, ending the streak of higher closes at 6-days. Selling was aided by warmer trends, stout US production at over 100 Bcf/day, and surpluses increasing to +350 Bcf after next week’s EIA report prints a draw slightly smaller than the 5-year average. Nat gas prices have gained the 4¢ it lost yesterday in overnight trade, aided by the GFS trending 11 HDDs colder and the 3 HDDs colder. Most important, both held a colder than normal pattern setting up over most of the US March 8-16 for stronger than normal demand, although still with the EC more than 15 HDDs colder compared to the GFS, a sizeable difference that needs resolving. And with yesterday’s longer-range EC model forecasting a colder than normal pattern holding for March 17-25, end of draw season estimates are likely to trend lower towards 1,850 Bcf.
It should be a relatively dangerous weekend to hold w/the potential for large weather model trends. The overnight EC trended colder to close the gap on the already colder EC for March 8-16. Although, it might be asking a lot for the weather data to not give back at least a few HDDs over the weekend, especially since there’s likely to be some sort of break show up between cold shots March 8-16. However, what might matter more is if the March 17-20 period can hold below normal temperatures over much of the US to keep stronger than normal demand in place.