US forecasters watching tropical system near Gulf

25 August 2016 17:30 Source:ICIS News

Interests in the northwestern Bahamas and Florida should monitor the progress of this disturbance since it is increasing likely that some impacts, at a minimum heavy rains and gusty winds, will occur beginning this weekend. Formation chances through 48 hours are 50%. Formation chances through five days is 80%. (Source: US National Hurricane Center)
(Source: US National Hurricane Center)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Storm activity southeast of the Turks and Caicos Islands could become a tropical depression in the next few days as it heads towards the Gulf of Mexico, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Thursday.

The rains could lead to flash floods and mudslides over Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, as well as the southeastern and central Bahamas during the next few days, NOAA said, even before gaining tropical storm status.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gaston temporarily strengthened into a category 1 hurricane in the mid-Atlantic on Thursday, and the US National Hurricane Center issued Pacific advisories on a recently upgraded Tropical Storm Lester, located south-southwest of the Baja California peninsula.

Storms and hurricanes can disrupt operations at US plants and refineries along the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts.

Strong weather can also impact cargo vessels, such as happened with the SS El Faro, which sank near the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015.

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced on Wednesday that it will develop a transcript of the 26 hours of bridge audio successfully recovered from El Faro's voyage data recorder.

Gaston became the third Atlantic hurricane of the 2016 season, following Hurricane Alex in January and Hurricane Earl, which formed in early August.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs between 1 June and 30 November.

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on recently upgraded Tropical Storm Lester, located about 500 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. (Source: US National Hurricane Center)

By David Haydon