Tropical Storm Dorian became less organized and may weaken as it moves across open waters of the Atlantic, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
Dorian, with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour, was about 1,425 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands and moving west-northwest at 20 mph, according to a center advisory before 5 a.m. in New York.
“Slow weakening is expected during the next day or so,” according to the advisory. The storm is forecast to turn toward the west with an increase in forward speed through Saturday. The center’s five-day projection has Dorian passing north of or over Puerto Rico on July 29.
Dorian is the fourth tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. From 1966 to 2009, the fourth system typically formed by Aug. 23, according to the hurricane center.
Commodities traders follow Atlantic systems because they can affect oil and natural gas production as well as orange crops. The U.S. Gulf of Mexico is home to about 6 percent of U.S. natural gas output, 23 percent of oil production and more than 40 percent of petroleum refining capacity, according to the Energy Department. The Bay of Campeche, at the southern end of the Gulf, is where Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico’s state-owned oil company, produces most of that country’s crude.