So the Fall Classic has started with the National League’s Chicago Cubs taking on the American League’s Cleveland Indians. No, you’re not dreaming.
It is not the year 1948 when the Indians last won the World Series. And it certainly is not 1908 when the Cubs last won. With this match up, the only thing we know with certainty is that one of the two longest draughts in sports history will come to an end this year.
Which got me thinking about the weather and the rapidly approaching winter of 2016/2017. We have all heard the term “once a century event”. By definition they rarely happen. No one expects them. But they do happen and sometimes when you are least expecting it.
Just like the Cubs playing the Indians in the World Series.
So the winter of 2016/2017 looks like a pretty typical winter going into November with the expectation of a normal to cooler than normal winter across the Northeast and Midwest with warmer temperatures across the South and West. (Source; NOAA.gov).
This pattern is being driven by the shift to a moderate La Nina weather pattern (cooling Pacific waters) from a very strong El Nino pattern (warm Pacific waters) last winter. Remember last winter was one of the warmest on record for much of the US.
The expected winter pattern starts with a warmer than normal December than progressively getting cooler during January and February. Again, no big surprises and a pretty typical winter forecast. Which helps explain why gas markets have been pretty much staying in a trading range between $2.50 and $3.20. Gas prices have actually come down a bit in the last week because of the projected warm start to winter.
But going into winter is not time to get too complacent about protecting you and your customers from a once a century event. Just like the weather, energy prices can change very quickly and dramatically. I often warn folks about the Winter of 2014 when we had a normal winter temperatures all the way into February at which time we were hit with a 2-week cold snap that caused customers energy bills to quadruple. Our customers and our industry are still feeling the impact of that once a century event.
And even with a normal winter, your customers’ energy bills are expected to increase significantly this winter driven by the combination of higher rates and colder weather. (Source EIA.gov) So customers should be prepared for a pretty significant increase in energy spending if all goes according to forecast. Which is again another reason to lock in a fixed rate to protect themselves. If things get colder than expected these numbers will grow dramatically.
So is Hell freezing over? Probably not. But smart energy consumers are making sure they are protected just to be sure as we enter the winter season.
Your friends at Nextility are happy to help. Just let us know what we can do for you.
Oh…and my pick? Indians in six.