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Warm Temperatures Forecasted

September 17, 2012

Long-term forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for September through November 2012:

For September through November of this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting above normal winter temperatures in across most of the country, including the Northeast, most of East Coast, Midwest, and Southwest regions, with the highest above normal temperatures predicted in New England and in states like Minnesota and Wisconsin. Below normal temperatures are expected in this three month period along the West Coast. In the Southeast and parts of the West, the administration sees a possibility of above, below, or equivalent to normal temperatures with equal probability.

Long-term forecast from the NOAA for December 2012 through February 2013:

The winter forecast shows above normal temperatures for the northern half of the country, stretching from New England to the Mid-Atlantic, the Midwest, and finally, the Northwest. The administration is also forecasting below normal temperatures in Florida and in South Texas. In the Southeast, South, and Southwest regions, the NOAA sees equal chances of temperatures above, below, or the same as normal temperatures.

It is important to keep in mind the relationship between temperatures and natural gas demand. Colder weather in the winter means there is a spike in natural gas demand (and as a result, in price). If winter temperatures are higher than they typically are, natural gas demand will likely increase less than it normally has in past winters (not last winter, as it was an atypically warm winter). Slightly warmer-than-usual temperatures this winter may mean an increase in natural gas prices that is not as severe as it has been in colder past winters.