NHC raises chance of Atlantic system developing


  • World
  • Tuesday, 25 Aug 2009

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Monday it was still monitoring disorganized showers associated with a tropical wave in the western Atlantic Ocean and now gave the system a medium chance -- 30 to 50 percent -- of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.

Earlier Monday, NHC gave the system, located a few hundred miles east of the Leeward Islands in the Atlantic, a low chance, or less than 30 percent, of developing.

NHC said some slow development of the system was possible over the next couple of days as it moved west-northwest at 20 to 25 miles per hour.

Energy traders keep a close eye on storms that could enter the Gulf of Mexico and disrupt offshore oil and natural gas production or refinery operations along the coast. But most traders expect this system to steer in a more northerly direction towards the southeast U.S. coast.

Commodities traders likewise watch storms that could damage agriculture crops such as citrus and cotton in Florida and other states along the coast to Texas.

Early Monday, NHC issued its last advisory on former Hurricane Bill, which lost its tropical characteristics on Monday as it moved northeast past Newfoundland.

Bill, the first hurricane of the 2009 season, hit eastern Canada with heavy winds and rain over the weekend after kicking up seas along the U.S. East Coast.

While Atlantic Canada is an energy producing region, exporting oil, natural gas and refined products, there have been no reports of major disruptions to energy infrastructure due to Bill.

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