NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Natural gas futures slipped Tuesday as abundant supplies and moderate weather forecasts continued to drive prices lower.

Natural gas for May delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was trading 6 cents lower, or 1.53%, at $3.856 a million British thermal units after opening 4.6 cents lower at $3.87/MMBtu.

"I can't find any reason to buy [gas] other than the price itself," said Ed Kennedy, an analyst with Hencorp Becstone Futures in Miami. "But that's not going to stop the price erosion."

Mild spring temperatures in the major gas-consuming regions were expected to limit the demand for gas heating. MDA EarthSat, a Rockville, Md. private forecaster, was predicting that warmer-than-normal temperatures would blanket the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. through April 8. MDA was also expecting above-normal temperatures across most of the northern tier of the U.S. and Mid-Atlantic from April 9 to April 13.

The National Weather Service was expecting above-normal temperatures across most of the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. from April 4 to April 8. NWS was forecasting warmer-than-normal temperatures in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes and parts of the Midwest and South Central region from April 6 to April 12.

Robust supplies, meanwhile, continued to place downward pressure on gas prices. A flood of gas from onshore shale-rock formations has sent new supply to market as economic weakness curbs energy demand.

Gas in U.S. storage facilities as of March 19 totaled 1.626 trillion cubic feet, 8% above the five-year average and 1.7% below last year's level. And government data released Monday showed that January U.S. gross gas production rose 0.9% from December.

"If gas were chocolate, we'd have tummy ache from eating so much," analysts with Houston energy advisory Tudor Pickering Holt wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. "Something's gotta give in that market (most likely drilling activity)."

-By Christine Buurma, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2143;