Storm system could drop 5-10 inches of rain in NE Mexico, South Texas

Adam Yanelli


HOUSTON (ICIS)–Potential Tropical Cyclone One could drop from six-12 inches of rain over South Texas as it approaches the US Gulf Coast this week, meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Tuesday.

As of 18:00 GMT the storm remains large but disorganized over the southwestern US Gulf, with heavy rainfall expected along the Gulf Coast over the next day or two, the NHC said and as shown in the following image.

Source: National Hurricane Center

The storm is about 405 miles (655 km) southeast of Brownsville, Texas, with estimated wind speeds of 40 miles/hour (65 km/hour), as shown in the following image.

Source: National Hurricane Center

At this time, most US Gulf Coast chem plant operations are expected to run as normal barring any rapid intensification.

So far it does not appear that offshore oil and gas operations are being impacted.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) provides daily updates when storms lead to the evacuation of offshore production platforms.

There was no update on Tuesday from BSEE.

Production platforms are the offshore structures from which oil and natural gas are produced.

Unlike drilling rigs, which can be moved, production facilities remain in the same location throughout a project’s duration.

Another disturbance in the southwest Atlantic has a 10% chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours, as shown in the following image.

Source: National Hurricane Center

Environmental conditions are marginally conducive for some gradual development of this system during the next few days while it moves westward or west northwestward.

The system is forecast to approach the coast of the southeastern United States on Friday.

There is likely to be increased focus on US Gulf petchem production this summer as the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting the greatest number of hurricanes in the agency’s history.

NOAA forecasters with the Climate Prediction Center said that the hurricane season – which started on 1 June and runs through 30 November – has an 85% chance to be above-normal, a 10% chance of being near-normal and only a 5% chance of being below-normal.

The prediction of 17-25 named storms is the highest ever, topping the 14-23 predicted in 2010.

A storm is named once it has sustained winds of 39 miles/hour (63km/h).

Damage from hurricanes can lead to increased demand for chemicals, but hurricanes and tropical storms can also disrupt the North American petrochemical industry because many of the nation’s plants and refineries are along the US Gulf Coast in the states of Texas and Louisiana.

In 2022, oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico accounted for about 15% of total US crude oil production and about 2% of total US dry natural gas production, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Even the threat of a major storm can disrupt oil and natural gas supplies because companies often evacuate US Gulf platforms as a precaution.


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