WSI and ESAI issue an update of special interest to energy traders

WSI and ESAI Provide Analysis of Weather and Market Trends for Energy Traders

Andover, MA - May 28, 2009 — WSI expects the upcoming summer (June-August) to average cooler than normal across most of the eastern US, with above-normal temperatures common across the western US. The highest probability for a cool summer is in the Southeast, while the Southwest, Rockies, and Northwest are most likely to have a warm summer. The WSI seasonal outlooks reference a standard 30-year normal (1971-2000).

“We expect most of the significant and prolonged heat this summer to be confined to drought-plagued areas of the western US,” said WSI seasonal forecaster Dr. Todd Crawford. “Our internal forecast models all suggest that the coolest temperatures, relative to normal, will be found in the Southeast this summer, with near to slightly below-normal temperatures in the Northeast. The North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans are now both cooler than normal for the first time in 15 years. This fact, along with a lack of any significant drought conditions in the eastern US and a trend towards El Nino conditions, should result in a relatively cool summer east of the Rockies. We do think that the best chance for market-moving heat in the Northeast will be early in the summer, before a cooler pattern sets in during the last half of the summer.”

In June, WSI predicts regional temperature anomalies as follows:

Northeast – Warmer than normal
Southeast – Cooler than normal
N Central – Warmer than normal
S Central – Cooler than normal
Northwest – Warmer than normal
Southwest – Warmer than normal, except coastal CA

According to Paul Flemming, ESAI’s Director of Power and Gas, “The WSI June forecast indicates slightly warmer-than-normal temperatures across the northern tier of the country with cooler-than-normal temperatures in much of the south. A marginally higher probability of early-season heat events is bullish for electricity demand and prices, although prices will be tempered by lower demand due to economic conditions. Cooler weather in the Southeast and South Central regions as well as California should result in slightly lower gas demand from the power sector providing an offset to higher demand expectations in the Southwest.”

In July, WSI sees the monthly breakdown as:

Northeast – Cooler than normal
Southeast – Cooler than normal
N Central – Cooler than normal
S Central – Cooler than normal
Northwest – Warmer than normal
Southwest – Warmer than normal, except coastal CA

“The WSI July forecast indicates cooler-than-normal temperatures in all of the major load centers across the country, including California, Texas and the East,” said Paul Flemming of ESAI. “Cooler-than-normal temperatures across most of the country will result in significantly lower gas demand and would be bearish for prices in the absence of hurricane activity. Power prices in the major markets are likely to be moderate with lower demand expectations due to the cooler outlook and the economic climate, as well as a low gas price environment. The cooler outlook reduces the likelihood of major heat events.”

In August WSI forecasts:

Northeast – Cooler than normal
Southeast – Cooler than normal
N Central – Warmer than normal
S Central – Cooler than normal
Northwest – Warmer than normal
Southwest – Warmer than normal

"The WSI August forecast indicates cooler-than-normal temperatures in most of the East as well as Texas. While the western regions are expected to be slightly warmer than normal, natural gas demand from the power sector is also likely to be below normal in August,” noted Paul Flemming. “Two months of below-normal demand this summer would be bearish for natural gas prices in light of market expectations that natural gas inventories are already expected to be very full at the end of the injection season. Cooler temperatures, lower demand for power and low natural gas prices will continue to moderate power prices in most markets this August."

WSI, which provides customized weather information to energy traders, issues its seasonal outlook twice-monthly. The next new forecast package (for the July-September and August-October periods) will be issued on June 24.

About WSI Corporation

WSI is the most trusted source of weather information across the globe. Top insurance, risk management companies and financial institutions, worldwide, trust WSI to supply them with easy-to-use, timely and expert weather guidance to help anticipate market volatility, mitigate risk and make critical decisions with confidence. WSI is a member of The Weather Channel Companies and is headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts, with offices in Birmingham, England. The Weather Channel Companies are owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms, The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. For more information, please visit us on the web at www.wsi.com or call us at 877.WSI.CORP or +44.121.233.7600.

About ESAI Corporation

Since its inception in 1984, Energy Security Analysis Inc. (ESAI) has been dedicated to monitoring, analyzing, and synthesizing information about world-wide energy markets. Tapping the talents of its senior-level staff, ESAI provides clients with unparalleled insight into where the markets have been and where they are headed. ESAI provides ongoing systematic analysis of energy prices in the oil, natural gas, and energy markets. For more information on ESAI services visit www.esai.com.