Sunday, June 27, 2010

Caribbean Storms Strengthen, May Head for Oil Spill

Tropical Storm Alex, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, moved across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula today on a track that would keep it far west and south of the largest oil spill in U.S. history. The storm was forecast to enter the Gulf of Mexico later today and regain whatever strength it lost while over land. The U.S. National Hurricane Center storm track predicts Alex will then curve west toward Mexico City rather than north and east into the worst of the BP Plc oil spill.

“Odds are it is not an issue for the cleanup,” Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc., said in a telephone interview today. He said the storm is likely to intensify to a Category 1 hurricane on the five step Saffir-Simpson scale before making its final landfall near Tampico on June 30. Alex, with sustained winds of 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour, was about 105 miles west of Chetumal and moving west northwest at 12 mph, according to the 8 a.m. advisory from the Miami based center. A tropical storm warning for the coast of Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula’s east coast likely will be discontinued today, it said.

“Some weakening is expected while over land and Alex could become a tropical depression,” the advisory said. The storm is expected to regain strength when it emerges over the southern Gulf of Mexico this afternoon.....Read the entire article.

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