Meteorologists are already anticipating a strong El Niño event that could last through early spring. As the weather pattern strengthens, some markets and exchange traded funds could be adversely affected.
“If El Niño holds according to plan it would be warmer and drier than normal this winter in the Northeast,” Dan Leonard, senior meteorologist at Weather Services International, told CNBC.
The El Niño weather condition causes unusually warm ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific and potentially a warmer winter across the U.S. Weather models project the conditions could last well into next year.
Among the ETFs that could be potentially vulnerable to El Niño is the already battered First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund (NYSEArca: FCG). FCG, which is comprised of natural gas exploration and production companies, is off nearly 39% over the past three months. Natural gas prices have hovered near record lows after the shale oil boom in the U.S. pressured both gas and oil prices.
Meanwhile, energy producers, like Range Resources Corp. (NYSE: RRC) and Chesapeake ENergy Corp. (NYSE: CHK), have cut their forecast for the year, citing a broad collapse in energy prices for oil and other similar liquid fuels.