Potential for Gulf Storm Grows as Heat Rises in California
The potential for a tropical system to develop in the Bay of Campeche has grown, although it remains to be seen if the system will hit Mexico or follow a track similar to last weekend’s Tropical Storm Lee, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC.
Computer models are in better agreement that a storm will grow out of the system in the bay, Rogers said today in a note to clients. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami gives it a 60 percent chance of developing into a tropical system in the next two days.
The Gulf is home to 27 percent of U.S. oil output and 6.5 percent of natural gas production. About 60.5 percent of Gulf oil and 41.6 percent of gas were still shut in yesterday because of Lee, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement said.
“The storm may either go west into Mexico or track north into the north-central Gulf into the area hit by Lee last weekend by Sunday or Monday,” Rogers said from Bethesda, Maryland. “The short timing should keep this on the weaker side, but it must be watched closely.”
Rogers said western heat “is still the main show.” Temperatures are forecast to reach 99 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius) today in Los Angeles, about 24 degrees above normal, according to the National Weather Service in Oxnard, California.
In his 6- to 10-day forecast for Sept. 12 to Sept. 16, Rogers said California will return to more seasonal weather while Texas will start to heat up again. High temperatures will center on Texas and Oklahoma, as well as the northern Rocky Mountains, from Sept. 17 to Sept. 21, according to Rogers’ 11- to 15-day forecast.
Power plants use about 30 percent of the nation’s natural gas supplies, according to the Energy Department, and hot or cold weather can increase demand for heating and cooling. Gas futures rose for the first time in three days yesterday on forecasts for hotter-than-normal U.S. weather.
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