WSI US Summer Outlook: Moderate Heat to Build Across Northern States by July/August

WSI and ESAI Expect US Summer Energy Usage to Increase 4-5% Year-Over-Year

Andover, MA, May 25, 2010 — WSI expects the upcoming summer period (June-August) to average warmer than normal across most of the US, with the exception of parts of the central and northern Plains and Great Lakes states. The WSI seasonal outlooks reference a standard 30-year normal (1971-2000).

“While we expected the recent El Nino event to die off rather quickly this spring, we have been surprised by the accelerated rate of decay over the past month,” said WSI Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford. “Tropical and mid-latitude patterns have already transitioned into a pattern more typical of La Nina events. Because of this, we expect more cool temperatures in June across much of the western two-thirds of the country, with any significant heat confined to the Southeast US. By July and August, we expect the heat to become established across the northern US, first in the Pacific Northwest in July and then spreading to across to the Northeast by August. Limiting factors for the summer heat include the complete lack of any widespread drought conditions along with the historically epic persistence of the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation over the last two years. So, while we do expect a warm summer on the whole across the US, we don’t expect the magnitude of the heat to be especially notable, especially early in the summer. For the June-August period as a whole, we are forecasting 874 population-weighted cooling degree days, 4-5% more than last year and about 6% more than the 1971-2000 mean.”

In June, WSI predicts regional temperature anomalies as follows:


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

According to Paul Flemming, Director of Power & Gas at ESAI, “In June, WSI is forecasting cooler-than-normal temperatures across most of the western and midwestern U.S. with warmer temperatures in the East, particularly the Southeast. Gas demand for cooling will likely be lower than normal in most of the country, but offset slightly by warmer temperatures in the Southeast and Northeast. Early season heat events are less likely in the western markets. Maintenance outages in the power sector should be complete by early June in most markets.”


In July, WSI sees the monthly breakdown as:

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

“In July, WSI is forecasting cooler-than-normal temperatures in the Northeast but warmer-than-normal temperatures in most of the western and southern regions. Gas demand from the power sector for cooling will likely be strong in Gulf Coast and western regions and will be offset somewhat by cooler temperatures in the Northeast and Midwest.” According to Flemming, “Warmer expectations in Texas for July would typically indicate higher probabilities of heat events, but WSI is forecasting overall warmer temperatures with upside excursions of less magnitude, lowering the potential for severe price spikes.”


In August, WSI forecasts:

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

“In August, WSI is forecasting warmer-than-normal temperatures across the northern U.S. and the Northeast with cooler temperatures in parts of the Midwest and Southeast. Gas demand for cooling should be weaker in the Gulf Coast regions but could be offset by higher demand in the Northeast. Power prices in the Northeast markets could be volatile in August given the warmer-than-normal temperature projections,” noted Flemming.

For additional insight into the 2010 summer season, please join WSI for its complementary Summer Weather Symposium at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan on June 16. Click here for details.

WSI, providing customized weather information to energy traders, will issue its next seasonal outlook (for the July-September period) on June 22.

About WSI
WSI (Weather Services International) is the world's leading provider of weather-driven business solutions for professionals in the energy, aviation, and media markets, as well as 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.

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                                                                             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
bjr@rudolphcommunications.com