Coolest fall temperatures to remain focused in Central U.S.

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WSI (Weather Services International) has issued its latest forecast for the September-November period. The forecast indicates below-normal temperatures will be prevalent in the central U.S., 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 Pacific Northwest. The WSI seasonal outlooks reference a standard 30-year normal (1981-2010). 

According to WSI Chief Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford: "August has been another relatively cool month across most of the central and eastern US, although we are currently in the midst of what we think will be a brief warmer period as we approach the end of the month. As Labor Day approaches, it appears that the sub-seasonal weather drivers will cycle around so that cooler-than-normal temperatures are favored again, especially across the north-central US. Further, the various models that we use suggest that this will be the general pattern for much of the fall, with the central US at greatest risk for below-normal temperatures. Finally, although much of the data needed to make a successful winter forecast is not yet available, the early indications suggest that a colder winter is favored across much of the central and eastern US. We will continue to integrate the latest data sets ahead of our first official winter forecast map in September."

In September, WSI sees the monthly breakdown as:
Northeast* - Warmer than normal
Southeast* - Warmer than normal
North Central * - Cooler than normal
South Central* - Warmer than normal
Northwest* - Warmer than normal
Southwest* - Warmer than normal

According to Paul Flemming, Director of Power & Gas at ESAI Power LLC: "In September, moderate temperatures in most regions and cooler-than-normal temperatures across large portions of the Midwest should moderate late-summer demand and help natural-gas inventories close the ongoing deficit to last year's storage levels. Power prices should be moderate in most regions however much warmer conditions are expected in California and the Northwest. Increased probabilities of late-season heat events in California are bullish for power prices in that region."

In October, WSI forecasts:
Northeast - Cooler than normal
Southeast - Warmer than normal
North Central - Warmer than normal
South Central - Cooler than normal
Northwest - Warmer than normal
Southwest - Cooler than normal, except southern California

Flemming added: "In October, shoulder-period load levels at moderate temperatures mean that seasonal temperature shifts will not have much impact on power prices. Load impacts will be overshadowed by generator maintenance schedules. With low seasonal demand, natural-gas prices in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region will be soft relative to Henry Hub. Lower demand from the power sector and negligible demand from heating should allow further builds in natural-gas inventories, further reducing the deficit to last year's level."

In November, WSI forecasts:
Northeast - Warmer than normal major cities, cooler elsewhere
Southeast - Warmer than normal
North Central - Cooler than normal
South Central - Cooler than normal
Northwest - Warmer than normal
Southwest - Warmer than normal

Flemming noted: "In November, mild temperatures in the Northeast will dampen early-season heating demand for natural gas and will moderate power prices as generator maintenance continues throughout the month in most regions. Some early-season gas demand for heating in the cooler Midwest regions could offset lower demand in the Northeast but the northern portions of the Midwest are projected to be warmer than normal. The generally warmer pattern across the northern tier of the country in November may help to close any remaining natural-gas inventory deficit to last year."

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 September 19. 

*To view the map defining WSI's US regions, click here.

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