09/29/2023, 8:45 am EDT

U.S. Energy Market Early Notes: Low water levels on the Mississippi are worsening.

Fig. 1-2: ECM ENS 15-day percent of normal rainfall forecast across the U.S. and the CFS V2 rainfall anomaly outlook for October. Discussion: 400 river level gauges are below “low water” on the Mississippi River due to the 2023 drought in parts of the Central U.S. The condition which is threatening the water supply for October harvest and barge travel along the Mississippi is worsening. The latest 15-day outlook by ECM ENS indicates mostly dry weather continuing in the Mississippi Valley (Fig. 1). The Climate Impact Company constructed analog (CIC-CA) precipitation outlook for October is developing wet weather across the Southeast to Mid-south U.S. However, CFS V2 indicates the wet weather risk may shift west to Texas (and vicinity) leaving the Southeast and East-central U.S. mostly dry (Fig. 2). Consequently, the difficult conditions on the Mississippi are likely to continue through mid-autumn. In November, the CFS V2 has wet risk for parts of the Mississippi River while CIC-CA is drier again therefore expectations of drought ending rainfall in November is below average. The winter outlook confidently forecasts above normal precipitation for the southern Mississippi River Valley, but the central basin may stay dry. The U.S. gas population weight HDD forecast is similar to yesterday and indicates essentially no national heating demand in early October followed a surge to near normal demand for the following 2 weeks (Fig. 3). Fig. 3: U.S. population weight HDD forecast based on all models, their consensus, and comparing with 24 hours ago and the 30-year/10-year normal.