In fact, the middle of the country has experienced what some are calling a "polar vortex" or a "polar invasion," with temperatures 10 to 30 degrees below average in some parts of the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes.
The cooler-than-expected weather is having a real effect on the futures market, in the form of cheaper natural gas
Natural gas prices were staying supported at around $4.50 per mmbtu after a cold winter. Traders were focusing on total storage figures for the year, almost a trillion cubic feet lower than a year earlier. But with cooler weather and less demand for natural gas from utilities, the market has come off to under $4 as of Thursday—that's a drop of around 15 percent in the last month.
Meanwhile, weekly storage figures have been higher than average, so supplies could recover significantly if the weather stays mild.
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"There have been 12 weeks of supply gains that are above average, and that seems to be weighing on the price of nat gas," said Jim Iuorio, managing director of TJM Institutional Services. "I think the unusually mild winter has caught many people off guard, particularly those who remained long after the awful winter we had."
In fact, traders who were long natural gas appear to have been caught off guard, according to Jeff Kilburg, founder and CEO of KKM Financial.
"The nat gas move has caught some of the longs badly ... those folks who were trying to get out in front of the weather, which has not heated up as of yet," Kilburg said. "Demand, demand, demand has just not surfaced."
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"Traders follow the Farmer's Almanac, and there was no indication that we would have this mild of a summer, especially when you look back to last summer and the year before that," added Anthony Grisanti, president of GRZ Energy.
What do lower natural gas prices mean for consumers? Lower cooling bills, for one thing, and that could have a broader impact on the economy.