Natural Gas Prices Surge to a 5-Year High

Thanks, polar vortex

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Afton Almaraz / Getty Images

Ice floes fill the Hudson River as the Lower Manhattan skyline is seen during sunset on January 9, 2014 in New York, New York.

Just when it seemed the polar vortex had done its worse, the mere possibility of another cold front has sent natural gas prices surging to a five-year high.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the price of natural gas futures climbed by 11% on Wednesday. Investors snatched up futures contracts on news that another U.S.-bound cold front could send temperatures plummeting, putting a strain on dwindling stocks of natural gas.

Analysts fear that if the national supply of natural gas, currently projected at 1.4 trillion cubic feet, drops below the 1 trillion mark, shortages could stretch into next year, hitting households and businesses in the pocketbook. So the polar vortex could strike again and again, long after it has vanished.