WSI: Warm Temperatures Across Northern US in April/May, Much Cooler June

WSI and ESAI Expect Total March-May Natural Gas Usage To Increase 3% Year-Over-Year

Andover, MA, March 23, 2010 — WSI (Weather Services International) expects the upcoming period (April-June) to average cooler than normal in the southeastern half of the US, with warmer temperatures in much of the western and northern US, especially in March/April. The WSI seasonal outlooks reference a standard 30-year normal (1971-2000).

“A slow transition out of the extreme weather patterns observed during the winter will continue as we head into April” said WSI chief meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford. “The relaxation of the pattern will allow for more widespread warmth across the western and northern US during April and May. However, we expect a return to more expansive below-normal temperatures across the north by June. Though April and May will likely experience above-normal temperatures on the whole, a lack of any significant drought across the central and eastern US will limit the magnitude and number of early-season heat events. By summer, we expect more blocking to return with the odds currently favoring a relatively cool summer across much of the central and northern US. For the April-June period as a whole, we are forecasting 587 gas-weighted heating degree days, approximately 3% more than last year and about 3% less than the 1971-2000 mean.”

In April, WSI predicts regional temperature anomalies as follows:

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

According to Paul Flemming, Director of Power & Gas at ESAI, “in April, WSI is forecasting generally mild temperatures across the northern tier of the U.S. and colder-than-normal temperatures in the South Central and Southeast regions. Moderate temperatures in April result in shoulder-period gas and electric demand as the heating season draws to a close. Temperature changes occurring in April will have a much lower impact on demand. Planned generator maintenance outages will play a more bullish role in power markets as gas-fired plants replace power from off-line coal and nuclear”.

In May, WSI sees the monthly breakdown as:

Northeast – Colder than normal
Southeast – Colder than normal
N Central – Warmer than normal
S Central – Warmer than normal
Northwest – Much warmer than normal
Southwest – Warmer than normal

“In May, WSI is forecasting significantly-warmer-than-normal temperatures across the western regions but generally cooler temperatures along the eastern seaboard. In May, gas demand shifts to early-season cooling which may be significant in the western regions but less of a factor in the east. Cooler temperatures in the east will dampen electric loads, but generator maintenance schedules will continue to provide a bullish underpinning to gas demand due to nuclear and coal outages,” noted Flemming.

In June, WSI forecasts:

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

“In June, WSI is forecasting significantly warmer than normal temperatures across the Western US but generally cooler temperatures in the Northeast and North Central regions. Gas demand for cooling will likely be strong in the western regions, but this will be offset by much cooler temperatures in the Northeast and Midwest. Early season heat events are likely in the west, but much less likely in the congested Northeast markets due to cooler temperatures.” According to Flemming, “maintenance outages in the power sector should be complete by early June.”

WSI, providing customized weather information to energy traders, will issue its next seasonal outlook (for the May-July period, as well as a first look at the full summer) on April 20.

About WSI

WSI Corporation is the world's leading provider of weather-driven business solutions for professionals in the energy, aviation, and media markets, and multiple federal and state government agencies. 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. More information about WSI can be found at www.wsi.com.

About ESAI

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, see www.esai.com.

Linda Maynard

WSI
(978) 983-6715
lmaynard@wsi.com

Tommy Sutro

ESAI, Energy Security Analysis, Inc.
(781) 245-2036
tsutro@esai.com

Editorial Contact:
 

Barbara Rudolph

Rudolph Communications, LLC
(781) 229-1811
bjr@rudolphcommunications.com