WSI: Coolest Summer Since 2009 Expected

Emerging El Nino Event to Enable Reduced Summer Heat Risk across Central/Eastern US


ANDOVER, Mass. (April 21, 2014) — WSI (Weather Services International) has issued their latest forecasts for both May and the full summer period (June-August). The forecast for May is for warmer-than-normal temperatures across the Northeast and West, with below-normal temperatures across the central and southeastern US. For the upcoming summer, the WSI forecast shows below-normal temperatures over most of the central and eastern US, with the exception of Texas, with more consistent above-normal temperatures expected across the western US. The WSI seasonal outlooks reference a standard 30-year normal (1981-2010).

According to WSI Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford: “As we look ahead to summer, the big story is clearly the looming El Nino event. A very large area of much-warmer-than-normal water will be surfacing in the eastern tropical Pacific during the next month, and the atmospheric changes that this causes will be the key to the summer forecast. Fortunately, the forecasts from the various long-range forecasting models agree quite well with our internal statistical models, depicting a relatively cool summer over much of the central and eastern US. We feel that the best chance for sustained and significant heat will be across the western US, as the tropical forcing driven by the El Nino event will enable upper-air ridging to develop there. Our current forecast is for approximately 5% less national cooling demand than last summer.”

In May, WSI sees the monthly breakdown as:

Northeast – Warmer than normal
Southeast – Cooler than normal, except Florida
North Central – Cooler than normal
South Central – Cooler than normal
Northwest – Warmer than normal
Southwest – Warmer than normal

According to Paul Flemming, Director of Power & Gas Services at ESAI Power LLC: “As a result of warmer-than-normal temperatures expected in the Northeast and Western regions in May, power and gas prices are likely to find continued fundamental support. Generation maintenance will continue into May in most regions, but will wind down by June, helping to support power prices in May even in the central regions that are expected to have cooler temperatures. Cooler temperatures in Texas should moderate early-season cooling loads and therefore energy prices. Natural gas storage injections are likely run over 3.0 Bcf/day above last year’s level, supporting gas prices in May.”

In June, WSI forecasts:

Northeast – Warmer than normal
Southeast – Cooler than normal
North Central – Cooler than normal
South Central – Warmer than normal
Northwest – Warmer than normal
Southwest – Warmer than normal

Flemming added: “With slightly cooler-than-normal temperatures in much of the Eastern and North Central regions, energy prices in PJM will be moderated by lower loads. The Western states may have significantly higher-than-normal temperatures in June, increasing the chances for early-season heat events and correspondingly higher energy prices. Gas demand should be near normal for cooling as regional temperature profiles are balanced, however, demand for injections should remain strong.”

In July, WSI forecasts:

Northeast – Cooler than normal
Southeast – Cooler than normal
North Central – Cooler than normal
South Central – Warmer than normal
Northwest – Warmer than normal
Southwest – Cooler than normal

“Cooler-than-normal temperatures are expected to prevail in July with Texas and the Western states the only regions expecting above-normal temperatures. Cooling demand is expected to be below normal, resulting in moderate energy prices, particularly in the Northeast markets. Gas demand from the power sector should moderate, although the need for robust injections will likely keep gas prices firm through the summer.”

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 May 16.

About WSI Corporation
WSI (Weather Services International) and Weather Central are the world's leading providers of weather-driven business solutions for professionals in the energy, aviation, insurance and media markets, as well as multiple federal and state government agencies. Together they comprise the professional division of The Weather Company and are 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