Despite Punxsutawney Phil's Groundhog Day prediction of an early spring, winter is persisting and the National Weather Service advises cooler than expected temperatures for the Eastern two-thirds of the nation for a least the next two weeks. A blast of winter buried parts of the western cornbelt and plowed eastward last week. Currently, more snow is falling in the Midwest with more forecast for next week.
As the cold weather sticks around, natural gas is moving to the upside. Yesterday, the April '13 Natural Gas contract topped out at $3.51 before trailing for the remainder of the day. But as news came today of the expected cool start to March, nattie broke through yesterday's high and placed fresh resistance at $3.55.
The unexpected chill has excited demand for natural gas as a heating fuel, and EIA's Natural Gas Storage Report is expected to show dramatic drawdowns last week when it is released on Thursday. Look for natural gas to remain near the top of its range for the next few days and fall as the mercury makes its way toward warmer spring temperatures.
But like Bill Murray's character in the movie Groundhog Day, I'm beginning to wonder if this winter is ever going to end -- April '13 nattie seems to feel the same.
Photo credit: AlicePopkorn2 / Foter.com / CC BY-ND