Are You Ready for Winter Gas Prices?

Furnace burners are so cool!
Furnace burners are so cool!

It’s been said that a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. And from the looks of things at the ENSO blog, that’s what’s happened.

Good thing we didn’t bake a cake.

Where’s La Niña?

Since the much anticipated La Niña isn’t coming, the current weather forecast is laying 55-60% odds that the phenomenon called the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) will remain in neutral this winter. In other words, sea surface temperatures at the equator in the Pacific Ocean won’t be extra warm (like during an El Niño) or extra cool (like during a La Niña) and so won’t have much of an effect on global wind currents. Hence the term “neutral”.

How Cold Will Winter Get?

In Georgia, a neutral ENSO brings the possibility for warmer than average temperatures in southern Georgia and north Florida lasting from February through April. It also tends to increase chances for rain.

Unfortunately, neutral ENSOs tend to bring colder than average winter temperatures to the upper midwest and northeast from November through March. While it’s true a neutral ENSO brought down the 2014 Polar Vortex to freeze Atlanta, there’s a reduced chance for a Polar Vortex event this year. This is because summer sea ice in the Arctic has receded to the second lowest minimum recorded. Large swaths of the North Pacific side of the Arctic basin are ice-free. Research suggests that below normal sea ice in the fall and winter favor extensive Siberian snow cover in the fall plus a weak winter polar vortex.
All that said, though, the point here is that northern states rely on natural gas for home heating and more utilities are burning natural gas to make electricity. Colder temperatures up north —especially during sudden, bitter cold snaps— bring higher demand for natural gas —and of course—higher natural gas prices even down here in Georgia.

Fortunately, it’s trough time!

About twice a year, natural gas commodity prices hit their cyclic lows. One is during early spring when consumption drops off as fast as the snow melts. The other is fall right before the end of the natural gas injection season when supply is highest. In recent times, injection season has lasted into November. Right now this year, there’s a 100 billion cubic feet more natural gas in storage than last year. Prices are averaging a little lower.

Take advantage of trough time by shopping for cheap Georgia gas rates now. Rates are low and service providers are not only offering great service but competitive incentives and rewards.

Sign up for a fixed rate plan. Fixed rate plans lock-in today’s low prices so you can hedge against spiking natural gas prices in the middle of winter.

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