Investing.com - U.S. natural gas futures rose sharply for the second day in a row on Tuesday, as updated weather forecasting models continued to point to increased summer demand in the coming weeks.
U.S. natural gas for August delivery was at $2.989 per million British thermal units by 9:25AM ET (1325GMT), up 6.1 cents, or around 2.1%. It touched its highest since July 5 at $2.992 earlier.
Natural gas jumped more than 2% on Monday amid bullish weather forecasts.
Updated weather forecasting models showed temperatures over most of the U.S. will warm back into the upper 90s to 100s Fahrenheit this week.
Longer-term models showed the western, central, and southern U.S. will be very warm to hot through July 23, as high pressure dominates.
Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer heating demand.
Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with spring's mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning.
Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating.
Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.888 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9.0% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 6.5% above the five-year average for this time of year.
Market participants looked ahead to weekly storage data due on Thursday, which is expected to show a build in a range between 51 and 61 billion cubic feet in the week ended July 7.
That compares with a gain of 72 billion cubic feet in the preceding week, an increase of 64 billion a year earlier and a five-year average rise of 72 billion cubic feet.
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