US to Start December in Deep Freeze

Written by on December 2, 2013 in NatGasWeather - No comments

Mid December Weather Forecasts To Whipsaw

 

Much of the US will become encased in the deep freeze during the first week of December as bitter cold Arctic air, moderate to heavy snowfall, and strong winds sweeps from west to east across the country.    But then what?  The natural gas and heating markets are still trying to price in is how long this cold snap will last and then what happens for the second half of the month.  By the end of this coming weekend cold air will cover much of the US with only the far southeastern US escaping freezing temperatures.  The first image below shows bitter cold conditions covering all of the Plains and Midwest with highs only in the single digits and lows below zero.  Large heating draws should be expected during this time.  We then expect a reinforcing shot of Arctic air to drop right through south-central Canada and into the Midwest early next week.  This should also lead to another round accumulating snows for much of the Great Lakes and Northeast in week 2.  The markets are likely underestimating the strength of this reinforcing blast, as national temperature forecasts have yet to catch up to its potential impacts.  This pattern should keep temperatures well below normal for all of week 2 in many of the highest natural gas and heating demand states of the Midwest and Northeast.

 

This coming weekends bitter cold temperatures continue across the Plains and Midwest.  Cold in the Northeast, but not bitter cold.

This coming weekends bitter cold temperatures continue across the Plains and Midwest. Cold in the Northeast, but not bitter cold.

We urge caution on the weather pattern after around the 15th of December.  You will hear differing forecasts this week from the so called “weather experts”  and model followers speaking of a big warm up in the eastern US.  While this pattern is certainly possible, it is not a high probability, quite yet.  The jet stream does undergo adjustments around the middle of the month and its natural for these transition periods to make the models go bonkers as they become too sensitive to subtle changes.  The third image shows what the pattern is expected to look like in week 2 with the highlights being a fairly zonal pattern across the US around the 13th of December with plenty of cold air still holding over much of Canada and weather systems rapidly moving across the US.   Shortly after, many of the longer range solutions bring a strong jet stream into the western US and ridging and warming to the eastern US.  This is what many of the market players will be buying in on.  At this time, it’s just as likely additional reinforcing shots of Canadian air keeps the cold in place over much of the northern US for the second half of the month.  So for now, sit tight and let the players get played biting on forecast models that are sure to whipsaw over the next several days.

 

 

Cold at the end of this coming weekend.

Cold at the end of this coming weekend will be over all of the country except the far southeast.  Bitter cold over the Midwest.

 

Reinforcing cold next week.

Reinforcing cold dripping through central Canada in Week 2 and into the Midwest and Northeast with another round of snowfall.

 

December Week 2 Weather Pattern:  Zonal jet across the US with cold air over the northern states.

December Week 2 Weather Pattern: Zonal jet across the US with cold air remaining in place over the northern states.

 

Mid December Pattern Shift.

Mid December Pattern Shift:  This is the pattern many of the market players are betting on…A strong jet stream into the west coast with high pressure ridging into the eastern US with warming to above normal conditions. Don’t bite quite yet.

 

 

 

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