September natural gas had a gap lower open Sunday evening and fell to its lowest level since July 18. Some of the early weakness in the natural gas market appears to come from the diminished threat of Tropical Storm Ernesto disrupting Gulf of Mexico operations. The latest 6 to 10 day weather forecasts show an area of below normal temperatures along the eastern portion of the country, and that could be a force that slows air conditioning demand for natural gas. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of July 31st showed non-commercial traders were net short 76,224 contracts, an increase of 3,982. Non-commercial and nonreportable traders combined held a net short position of 39,732 contracts, for a decrease of 1,473 in the net short position held by these traders.