If any of you have stepped outside recently, you can attest to the fact that this winter’s cold snap has brought us record breaking numbers and more frozen pipes than we can even handle. And even though much of the eastern and southern U.S. is experiencing much warmer than average weather this week, a wide swath of the country is still in the deep freeze, with wind chills in the teens and single digits across much of the Plains, the Southwest and the Northwest.
This bitterly cold air even can make it too cold to snow across regions of the country that normally see double-digit snowfall amounts each year. That’s right, we said it is too cold to snow in some regions of the U.S. Now that’s saying something if it’s too cold to even snow?! So in an effort to better prepare yourself and brace what is to come, we thought we’d give you a breakdown of our energy predictions so that you can have a better idea as to what is causing energy prices to fall and rise throughout the country.The remainder February continues to look bitter cold. Temperatures will dip to 3 degrees on Friday. We will see a relief from the extreme cold next week with high temperatures in the mid-30s to low-40s. There is finally some above-normal temperatures in the mid-50s forecasted for the middle of March.
- Crude oil has turned downwards once more. Gross oversupply is hitting the market and limited storage by the beginning of summer may cause crude prices to fall substantially.
- Heating oil is a different story. Supply problems have caused prices to increase about 35 cents within the past week alone. This can be attributed to the extreme cold, customers forced to shut off natural gas and switch to heating oil, as well as the continued U.S. refinery strike by the steelworkers union.
- If cold temperatures persist, expect heating oil prices to remain high.
- Natural gas prices are again shaking off the cold weather and looking towards spring.
- This spring continues to look like a great opportunity to lock in natural gas and electricity prices.
- Expect propane prices to increase.
- Regional terminals are having difficulty providing enough supply for the demand.
- The situation is not as bad as last year’s supply shortage, but if the weather forecasts turn colder, logistical constraints could cause prices to rise further.
Well there you have it. Hopefully you've learned a thing or two and are prepared enough to take on the rest of this winter. Good luck and stay warm!