Cooler-than-Normal North Pacific and El Nino to Drive Pattern
Andover, MA, August 21, 2012 — WSI (Weather Services International) expects the September-November period to be cooler-than-normal in the western third of the US, with above-normal temperatures across most of the eastern two-thirds of the country. The largest positive temperature anomalies are expected in the central Plains. The WSI seasonal outlooks reference a standard 30-year normal (1981-2010).
“The recent weather pattern that has resulted in more persistent below-normal temperatures in much of the eastern two-thirds of the US will likely not last into September, as all of the objective seasonal/subseasonal evidence suggests a return to warmth across much of the East,” said Dr. Todd Crawford, WSI Chief Meteorologist. “By October, when the first heating demand starts to kick in, we expect a continuation of mild temperatures across most of the East driven by a very cold Pacific Ocean. As we head deeper into the fall, the climate models are becoming more aggressive in spreading very cold early-season air across much of southern Canada and into parts of the northern US. An early look at winter suggests that above-normal temperatures driven by the emerging El Nino event are likely across much of the northwestern US and southwestern Canada; but that it is still too early to call the fate of winter temperatures across the Northeast US.”
In September, WSI sees the monthly breakdown as:
Northeast* – Warmer than normal
Southeast* – Warmer than normal, except FL
N Central * – Warmer than normal, except parts of Dakotas/MN
S Central* – Warmer than normal
Northwest* – Cooler than normal
Southwest* – Cooler than normal
According to Paul Flemming, Director of Power and Gas at ESAI, “The forecast remains mixed for September with cool weather in the West and warmer temperatures in Texas and the East. Extended warm weather in Texas and the lower Midwest could combine with the start of the generator maintenance season to boost power prices and implied market heat rates in these areas. In the Northeast, generation maintenance is lighter in September; so the slightly warmer-than-normal temperature outlook is not particularly bullish for power prices in PJM, New York or New England. Gas prices should remain soft during the month as inventories approach last year’s record level (3,854 Bcf) and begin to approach 4,000 Bcf through September and into October.”
In October, WSI forecasts:
Northeast – Warmer than normal
Southeast – Warmer than normal, except FL
N Central – Warmer than normal
S Central – Warmer than normal
Northwest – Cooler than normal
Southwest – Cooler than normal
“Power prices in October generally will be impacted more by generator maintenance schedules than by changes in the lower shoulder-season loads due to weather. However, implied market heat rates will likely be relatively firm in most regions, as generator maintenance season is in full swing during this period and gas prices remain very low. Significantly warmer-than-normal weather in the North Central region will dampen any early-season heating demand from that region,” Flemming added.
In November, WSI forecasts:
Northeast – Cooler than normal
Southeast – Warmer than normal
N Central – Warmer than normal, except northern ND/MN/WI
S Central – Warmer than normal, except southern/central TX
Northwest – Warmer than normal
Southwest – Cooler than normal
“Cooler-than-normal temperatures in the Northeast and upper Midwest in November will provide a boost to early-season heating demand for natural gas from those key regions. November power prices will still be supported by strong generator maintenance outages for most of the month, particularly in the Northeast. Although loads are lower in the shoulder period, gas demand from the power sector typically increases during the maintenance season as gas plants make up for lower operations at nuclear and coal plants,” Flemming noted.
WSI provides customized weather information to energy traders. It will issue its next seasonal outlook on September 25.
*To view the map defining WSI’s US regions, click here.
WSI (Weather Services International) 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.
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.
Energy Security Analysis, Inc.
Rudolph Communications, LLC