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Europe set for warmer than usual temperatures in Mar-May: Weather Company

London — Almost all of Europe is set for warmer than normal temperatures through March, April and into May, the Weather Company said in its latest medium-range forecast Tuesday.

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The forecast sends another bearish signal for natural gas and power demand following a very mild February, reducing further the risk of any prolonged cold weather for the remainder of the winter.

The closely watched forecasts from the Weather Company (formerly WSI) predict that northern Europe, the UK, southern Europe and the western Nordics will remain warmer than usual in March.

Only in northeastern Europe is there some likelihood of a cold snap, the Weather Company said.

"As we look ahead to spring, we feel that the biggest risks for colder weather, relative to normal, are still in March, and especially across northern/eastern sections," Weather Company chief meteorologist Todd Crawford said.

"Beyond March, most of our model outputs suggest a generally warm/wet spring in most locations, especially across the northern half of Europe, as mobile westerlies impinge upon the continent," Crawford said.

In its first forecast for May, the Weather Company said most of Europe would again be warmer than normal, though with some cooler conditions in western Europe.

GAS STOCKS

The forecast comes against the backdrop of healthy northwest European gas storage stocks. With warmer weather expected through the rest of the winter, storage levels are likely to remain high, putting downward pressure on summer injection demand and summer prices.

According to S&P Global Platts Analytics, stocks in the region (Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark) were at 21.5 Bcm by the end of last week, well above the 14.5 Bcm level at the same point in 2017, just ahead of the extreme cold weather that engulfed the region until mid-March.

The Winter 19-Summer 19 spread on the key Dutch TTF benchmark is now almost Eur3.50/MWh, compared with just Eur1.65/MWh at the start of January when significant risk premium was still priced in.

WEATHER COMPANY FORECASTS WARMER THAN NORMAL MARCH, APRIL

MARCH

Northern Mainland Warmer than normal

UK Warmer than normal

Nordic Region Warmer than normal west, cooler than normal east

Southern Mainland Warmer than normal

APRIL

Northern Mainland Warmer than normal

UK Warmer than normal

Nordic Region Warmer than normal

Southern Mainland Warmer than normal east, cooler than normal west

MAY

Northern Mainland Warmer than normal east, cooler than normal west

UK Warmer than normal

Nordic Region Warmer than normal

Southern Mainland Warmer than normal east, cooler than normal west

Source: Weather Company

-- Stuart Elliott, stuart.elliott@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Alisdair Bowles, newsdesk@spglobal.com