An area of disturbed weather over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico could strengthen into a tropical storm later this week, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Monday.
If it revs up to cyclone force, the system would become the second named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season and it could hamper oil spill clean-up efforts in the Gulf.
The Miami-based hurricane center said the broad area of low pressure, which was moving northwestward at about 10 to 15 miles per hour had a “medium chance” of becoming a tropical storm over the next 48 hours.
Regardless of development, it said the system was likely to bring heavy rainfall and gusty winds to the Yucatan Peninsula and western Cuba over the next day or so.
Most computer models showed the storm on a track that would take it over central Texas, well away from the site of BP’s blown-out Macondo well off the Louisiana coast.
Earlier, the hurricane center said another storm in the Gulf, just off the coast of Morgan City, Louisiana, was packing strong winds and had a high chance of becoming a cyclone before it made landfall.
But the system moved quickly over land, sapping its potential for development into a full-blown tropical storm.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov 30 and meteorologists predict an active storm season. Last week, Alex became the first Atlantic storm in fifteen years to gain hurricane strength in the month of June.
(Editing by Todd Eastham)
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