Tropical Depression 5 forms in the Gulf
Tropical Depression 5: A Nuisance to Central Gulf Coast (AccuWeather)
The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center reports that the depression should intensify into a tropical storm later today.The system is heading for the BP oil spill area and will stir up that portion of the gulf before moving on towards landfall. BP has suspended drilling operations for the relief well until after the storm passes.
The depression, however, will fall short of strengthening into a hurricane or even a strong tropical storm. The depression will move inland and will encounter disruptive wind shear (strong winds high in the atmosphere) before becoming a powerful tropical system.
Landfall is expected from coastal points east of New Orleans to Mobile late Thursday afternoon or night. Again, the depression will be a minimal tropical storm at this time.
BP Suspends Relief Well Drilling On Possible Gulf Cyclone (Wall Street Journal
BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) on Tuesday said it would suspend drilling activity for a relief well in the Gulf of Mexico, citing a National Hurricane Center prediction of a 60% chance of a tropical cyclone forming in that region.
According to the National Hurricane Center, there is a high chance the system could become a tropical or subtropical cyclone during the next 48 hours. It noted a low-pressure system located over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, a little less than 100 miles west of the southwest coast of Florida, is accompanied by a large area of showers and squalls.
BP and other producers evacuated workers and shut down oil and gas output of some facilities ahead of Hurricane Alex in June, which after making landfall in northeastern Mexico was downgraded to a tropical storm.
Graphics courtesy of AccuWeather