MTECHTIPS-U.S. natural gas futures were lower on Wednesday, falling for the first time in three days, as investors cashed out of the market to lock in gains from a recent rally which took prices to the strongest level in almost two weeks. U.S. natural gas for August delivery was at $2.994 per million British thermal units by 9:35 AM ET (1335 GMT), down 5.3 cents, or around 1.7%. It touched its highest since June 29 at $3.053 in the prior session. Natural gas jumped about 4% on Tuesday, adding to a gain of 2.3% on Monday, as updated weather forecasting models continued to point to increased summer demand in the coming weeks. Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on summer heating demand. Gas use typically hits a seasonal low with spring’s mild temperatures, before warmer weather increases demand for gas-fired electricity generation to power air conditioning. Nearly 50% of all U.S. households use gas for heating. Total natural gas in storage currently stands at 2.888 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9.0% lower than levels at this time a year ago but 6.5% above the five-year average for this time of year.