Energy companies and commodity traders are keeping a close eye on weather reports around the Gulf of Mexico as the Atlantic hurricane season moves into its most active phase and the risk of powerful storms, that could threaten activity in the Gulf, increases.
The Atlantic hurricane season begins at the beginning of June, with the most active stages between 20th August and October. Traders follow the storms due to their potential to destroy crops, and disrupt oil and gas activities.
Dan Kottlowski, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc., explained to Bloomberg that the wind shear, which normally breaks young storms apart, has been dropping away, and the potential of strong tropical waves, necessary to create a hurricane, has been growing.
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The two weather systems that the National Hurricane Centre are monitoring. (NHC)
The US National Hurricane Centre is currently tracking the progress of a tropical wave just off the coast of Africa, appointing it a 70% chance of turning into a tropical storm over the next five days. As well as a number of thunderstorms spread across a broad area in the southwestern Caribbean Sea, which they have given a 50% chance of turning into a large weather system over the next five days.
Kottlowski stated that “there are six or seven blobs of thunderstorms marching across Africa right now, some of these will be tropical waves. Next week looks very promising for development over the eastern Atlantic.”
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The 30 year average for the Atlantic hurricane season is 12 storms with wind speeds of at least 39 miles an hour, but the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has estimated that this year 13-19 of such storms will form.
Matt Rogers, the president of Commodity Weather Group LLC, said that whilst the activity in the Atlantic is indeed set to increase, the threats to the Gulf of Mexico and the southern US will be low. “The waves have been getting more robust but the models have been having trouble keeping them going across the Atlantic,” he stated, referring to the computer models that predict the development of storms heading towards the US.
The US Department of Energy claims that around 6% of US natural gas production, 23% of oil production, and over 40% of petroleum refining, is situated in the Gulf of Mexico.
By. James Burgess