* Front month hits highest mark since early September 2011
* More cold weather on tap in long-term forecasts
* Nuclear outages back below last year, five-year levels
* Coming Up: EIA natgas storage data on Thursday
By Eileen Houlihan
NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas futures slid
early on Thursday, after climbing to their highest mark in 19
months amid lingering cold weather and ahead of government
storage data expected to show another large withdrawal from
Traders and analysts expect weekly data from the U.S. Energy
Information Administration to show a draw of about 87 billion
cubic feet when it is released at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT), a
Reuters poll showed.
Stocks rose an adjusted 45 bcf during the same week last
year, and on average over the past five years have gained 6 bcf
for the week ended March 22.
Traders said the market could be consolidating in some
profit taking after the nearby contract rose to its highest
level since early September 2011.
Late-winter cold has put a huge dent in inventories and
helped drive gas futures up about $1 per million British thermal
unit, or more than 30 percent, since mid-Febru//