While all eyes are on Hurricane Florence churning toward the North Carolina coast, a little orange blob may be much more important for energy traders later this week.
A patch of showers and thunderstorms in the western Caribbean has a 50 percent chance of becoming at least a tropical depression, the weakest type of storm in the class that includes tropical storms and hurricanes, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
It would be aimed straight at the Texas coast, said Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The blob is heading along the path that Hurricane Harvey took last year. Harvey started as a yellow blob crossing the Yucatan Peninsula, before intensifying rapidly and slamming the Texas Coast with little notice. It drifted along the coast, dumping as much as 5 feet of rain, shutting more than one-quarter of U.S. refining capacity and causing $125 billion of damage.
Even if the system doesn’t get a name or become even a depression, “Texas will get heavy rain regardless,” Masters said. Five inches or more could fall across a large part of the state.
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