WSI: Cool Start, Warm Finish to Summer Across Most of Northern US and Plains

WSI and ESAI Anticipate US Summer Energy Usage To Increase 3-4% Year-Over-Year


Andover, MA, April 20, 2010 — WSI (Weather Services International) expects the upcoming period (May-July) to average cooler than normal in the northeastern quarter of the US and in California coastal cities, with warmer-than-normal temperatures in most of the southern and western US. For the summer period (June-August), WSI expects above-normal temperatures in the entire eastern US and central and southern Plains, with below-normal temperatures confined to parts of the northern Plains, Rockies, and Southwest. The WSI seasonal outlooks reference a standard 30-year normal (1971-2000).

After a warm period in May, especially across the western US, we expect a return to cooler-than-normal temperatures across much of the northern US by June, likely lasting into July,” said WSI Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford. By late summer, as the impacts of a newly-forming La Nina event become more firmly established and the persistent negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation fades, we expect more widespread heat across the northern US and Plains. For the June-August period as a whole, we are forecasting 644 population-weighted cooling degree days, 3-4% more than last year and about 2% more than the 1971-2000 mean.”

In May, WSI predicts regional temperature anomalies as follows:


Northeast – Cooler than normal
Southeast – Cooler than normal
N Central – Warmer than normal
S Central – Warmer than normal
Northwest – Much 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 June, WSI sees the monthly breakdown as:


Northeast – Cooler than normal
Southeast – Warmer than normal
N Central – Cooler than normal
S Central – Warmer than normal
Northwest – Warmer than normal
Southwest – Cooler 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 July, WSI forecasts:


Northeast – Cooler than normal
Southeast – Warmer than normal
N Central – Cooler 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 June-August period) on May 25.

About WSI

WSI Corporation is the world's leading provider of weather-driven business solutions for professionals in the energy, insurance, 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.

Contacts:
Linda Maynard                                                 Tommy Sutro
WSI Corporation                                              ESAI, Energy Security Analysis, Inc.
(978) 983-6715                                               (781) 245-2036
lmaynard@wsi.com                                        tsutro@esai.com


Editorial Contact:
Barbara Rudolph
Rudolph Communications, LLC
(781) 229-1811
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