UPDATE 3-US Dec. natgas futures expire higher, 5th straight gain
* Cold weather remains in most outlooks
* Record production, comfortable storage could limit gains
* Coming Up: EIA natgas storage data at noon (1700 GMT) Weds (Updates prices to settlement, changes analyst comment)
NEW YORK, Nov 26 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures rose on Tuesday for a fifth straight session, with the front-month December contract expiring just under Monday's nearly six-week intraday high as cold weather boosted heating demand in consuming regions.
Private forecaster MDA Weather Services called for a second round of strong cold weather concentrated in the eastern United States in its one- to five-day forecast, with a cold pattern on tap for most of the country in its 11- to 15-day outlook.
The latest National Weather Service eight- to 14-day outlook issued on Monday, however, called for below-normal readings only in the Northwest, with normal readings concentrated in consuming regions in the East and Midwest.
"The market is digesting the upcoming weather forecasts," said Energy Management Institute partner Dominick Chirchella, noting the milder National Weather Service outlook and the colder private forecasts.
But despite the recent cold, some traders said record-high production, low nuclear power plant outages and comfortable inventories could limit price gains.
Front-month December natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 2.9 cents, or less than 1 percent, to expire at $3.818 per million British thermal units.
The nearby contract traded as high as $3.849 on Monday, the highest mark for a front-month contract since mid-October.
Other months ended higher again as well, with the January contract gaining 2.2 cents to end at $3.864 and spring months rising about 2 cents each.
In the cash market, gas for Wednesday through Saturday delivery at the NYMEX benchmark, Henry Hub GT-HH-IDX in Louisiana, rose 1 cent to $3.86. Late deals eased slightly to 4 cents over the front month contract, from those done late Monday at a 7-cent premium.
Gas on the Transco pipeline at the New York citygate E-TSCO6NY-IDX rose nearly 50 cents to $4.54, while Chicago gas MC-CHICIT-IDX was down 12 cents at $3.94.
Last week's gas storage report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed total domestic inventories fell in the prior week by 45 billion cubic feet to 3.789 trillion cubic feet, about 2 percent below last year's levels and less than 1 percent above the five-year average.
Withdrawal estimates for this week's storage report ranged from 1 bcf to 21 bcf, with most traders and analysts expecting data to show a draw of about 10 bcf when it is released early Wednesday, a Reuters poll showed.
Stocks fell 2 bcf in the same year-ago week and on average over the past five years have fallen 15 bcf that week.
This week's EIA storage report will be issued one day earlier than usual, on Wednesday at noon EST (1700 GMT) due to the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday.
Data from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission showed about 8,900 megawatts, or 9 percent of U.S. capacity, was offline, unchanged from Monday, but down from 22,800 MW out a year ago and a five-year average outage rate of 12,900 MW.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said no tropical cyclone formation was expected for the next five days. The official Atlantic hurricane season runs through Nov. 30. (Editing by Maureen Bavdek, Marguerita Choy, Phil Berlowitz and David Gregorio)
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