As of Monday morning, EST, natural gas futures had a one-month change of 13.51 percent. At 10 a.m. EST, the price was $4.48 per million British thermal units (BTUs). The markets are now starting to catch up with the forecast.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, more than 65 million residential consumers use natural gas to heat their homes.
Deep Freeze Threatens Florida Strawberries
Bitter cold gripping the eastern half of country has extended its reach all the way into the Deep South, breaking records over the last couple of days. Even people in Florida have not been able to escape it. Citrus looks fairly safe, but the berries and some vegetables are threatened.
Another night of temperatures dipping near or below freezing threatens crops in Florida tonight, while a shot of even colder air is expected to follow early next week.
Snow Monster May Bring a Travel Nightmare This Weekend
The storm will produce a swath of plowable snow from the Dakotas through the Midwest and Great Lakes and into the Northeast. Areas from Missouri to western New York could be hit by the greatest impacts from the snow. The danger we see is a storm that produces almost blizzard conditions over a large area of the Ohio Valley and eastern Great Lakes.
The storm this weekend is part of a wintry weather pattern that has developed across the eastern part of the country. The storm is also potentially one of several storms that could bring a White Christmas to many areas across the Midwest and Northeast. The storm destined to dump heavy snow over portions of the Plains, Midwest and interior Northeast this weekend could solidify a white Christmas for these areas and others.
White Christmas Update
The overall pattern remains stacked with storms. In addition, the blast of cold air that follows the weekend spotlight storm could be even more harsh than the Arctic blast now in progress with a whole new round of intense lake-effect snow and a renewed threat of frost and freeze in Florida. The overall storm track appears to be ready to take a shift farther to the south over the eastern U.S., potentially allowing snow to be favored over rain, even in rather southern latitudes. Potent storms will arrive on a regular basis form the Pacific and could spread snow over more of the Northwest, Midwest, South and East. But the details remain to be seen. Atlanta's normal odds of a White Christmas are only 20-25% but this pattern probably puts it up around 38%, better but still very small.
Packages should be sent sooner rather than later because of possible inclement weather through December, with a series of storms in the cue through the end of the month. Any of these events could bring travel, including mail service and shipping, to a crawl or even standstill.
The USPS has holiday shipping deadlines between Dec. 15 and Dec. 22. As for UPS, Dec. 23 is the last day for unrestricted pickup and delivery service, although there is normal delivery on Christmas Eve.
FedEx offers same day shipping on Christmas Day, with other priority shipping options the week leading up to the holiday.
For more details of holiday shipping, be sure to check to verify exact deadlines and options with the carrier you plan to use.