WSI: Warm Fall Transitions to Cold Winter in the Eastern US

Recent Indicators More Strongly Suggestive of Cold Pattern Settling in After New Year


ANDOVER, Mass. (October 17, 2014) — WSI (Weather Services International) has issued their latest forecast for the November-January period. The forecast indicates below-normal temperatures will be prevalent from the south-central states to the Great Lakes, with above-normal temperatures expected in the western and eastern thirds of the country. The most significant positive temperature anomalies will be again found in the western states. The WSI seasonal outlooks reference a standard 30-year normal (1981-2010).

According to WSI Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford: “As we look towards winter, our blend of statistical and dynamical forecasting tools are suggesting ‘a tale of two seasons’, with generally mild weather for the remainder of the fall followed by a pronounced pattern change towards much colder temperatures across parts of the central and eastern US after the New Year. The emergence of the current El Nino event suggests that the focus of the cold weather this winter will be farther east and south than last winter, while other recent changes to atmospheric/oceanic patterns suggest that cold air outbreaks will be more common during late winter. The magnitude of the cold will be modulated by the amount of North Atlantic ‘blocking’, and this is still a significant wild card as we head into future forecast updates.”

In November, WSI sees the monthly breakdown as:
Northeast – Warmer than normal
Southeast – Cooler than normal west, warm east
North Central – Warmer than normal
South Central – Cooler than normal
Northwest – Warmer than normal
Southwest – Warmer than normal

According to Chris Kostas, Senior Power and Gas Analyst at ESAI Power LLC: “In November, warmer-than-normal temperatures and soft weather-related demand along the East Coast, West Coast, and Northern Plains should more than offset the cooler-than-normal temperatures and increased weather-related demand expected along the Gulf Coast and in the Midwest. Below-normal aggregate weather-related demand should keep natural gas and power prices soft and stable in November. We also believe warmer-than-normal November temperatures along the population-heavy coastal regions of the East and West will continue to reduce the year-over-year natural-gas inventory deficit. With soft aggregate demand expected in November and the possibility that injections could continue into early November, inventories should be in good shape heading into the winter.”

In December, WSI forecasts:
Northeast – Warmer than normal
Southeast – Warmer than normal
North Central – Warmer than normal
South Central – Colder than normal
Northwest – Warmer than normal
Southwest – Warmer than normal

Kostas added: “Aggregate weather-related demand is expected to remain soft in December. The West Coast, Rockies, Southeast, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions all expect to see warmer-than-normal temperatures and soft weather-related demand in December. The only exception to the warmer-than-normal temperatures should be Texas, which is expected to see colder-than-normal temperatures. With generally mild temperatures expected in November and December, power and natural-gas prices should remain relatively stable through the end of the year. Considering warmer-than-normal temperatures are expected in the Northeast and cooler-than-normal temperatures are expected in Texas, regional gas prices in the Marcellus Region (i.e. PJM) should remain soft relative to Henry Hub in December. New England natural-gas prices, which are widely expected to be firm due to pipeline constraints during the winter, may also find some relief with mild December temperatures. ”

In January, WSI forecasts:
Northeast – Colder than normal
Southeast – Colder than normal
North Central – Warmer than normal west, cold from Minneapolis eastward
South Central – Colder than normal
Northwest – Warmer than normal
Southwest – Warmer than normal

Kostas noted: “Natural-gas prices are likely to get a boost in January due to a significant shift in the temperature pattern. With colder-than-normal temperatures expected in the population-rich eastern half of the country, energy demand is likely to increase dramatically in January. Natural-gas prices should rise as a result of the colder-than-normal temperatures. Although natural-gas inventories this winter are likely to be below last winter’s levels, gains in shale-gas production over the summer should effectively offset the inventory deficit. Although colder-than-normal temperatures are expected in many of the same regions that experienced cold last year, production gains and pipeline expansions over the summer have improved supply availability and should prevent a recurrence of the volatile price behavior seen last winter.”

WSI provides customized weather information to global commodity traders via its industry-leading WSI Trader Web site. WSI will issue its next seasonal outlook on November 21.

About WSI Corporation
WSI is the world's leading provider of weather-driven business solutions for professionals in the aviation, energy and media markets, as well as multiple federal and state government agencies. WSI is the Professional Division of The Weather Company and is headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts with offices in Madison, Wisconsin and Birmingham, England. The Weather Company is owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital.

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.

Media Contacts:
Linda Maynard
WSI
(978) 983-6715
lmaynard@wsi.com

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