A storm system brewing in the Gulf of Mexico could strengthen into a named storm as it takes aim at the Texas coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Monday.
The system, named Potential Tropical Cyclone 9, was about 480 miles (770 km) east-southeast of Port Mansfield, Texas and was packing maximum sustained winds of 30 miles (45 km) per hour, the Miami-based hurricane center said. It could cause coastal flooding along the south Texas coast between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
The system is expected to develop into a tropical depression later on Monday and move inland over south Texas early on Tuesday, likely bringing 3 to 5 inches (7.6 to 12.7 cm) of rainfall, with isolated higher amounts of 7 inches (17.8 cm), the hurricane center said.
There are a total of five storm systems now swirling in the Atlantic, with U.S. forecasters recently saying they expect a more dangerous Atlantic storm season than previously projected.
Tropical storms are closely watched, especially in the Gulf of Mexico, because of the threat they pose to offshore oil and natural gas production in the United States and Mexico.
Offshore operations in the U.S.-regulated northern Gulf of Mexico accounts for 15% of total crude oil production and 5% of total dry natural gas output.
US Atlantic hurricane activity picks up with five systems on watch Read full story
(Reuters - Reporting by Harshit Verma and Rahul Paswan; editing by Jonathan Oatis)