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Tropical Depression Forms in Gulf of Mexico Bringing Heavy Rain

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- A tropical depression formed today in the Bay of Campeche, in the southern Gulf of Mexico, bringing potentially life-threatening rain to the region.

“We think it will become Tropical Storm Ingrid within 24 hours, making landfall somewhere near Tampico, Mexico,” said Dan Kottlowski, a meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. “It will bring a large area of rain across Mexico.”

As much as 25 inches (64 centimeters) may fall in some areas, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

If Ingrid does develop, it will be the third tropical storm to slam into southern Mexico’s Gulf coast since the Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1. Tropical storms Barry and Fernand struck the area in June and August. A depression hit the area earlier this month.

“It seems like every three or four weeks we have something organize there,” Kottlowski said.

The system developed 175 miles (280 kilometers) east-northeast of Veracruz, Mexico, the center said in an advisory at 5 p.m. New York time. It’s moving west at 7 miles per hour with top sustained winds of 35 mph.

Storms in the Gulf and the bay tend to be closely watched because of their proximity to U.S. and Mexican oil and gas production and refining.

The Gulf is home to about 5.6 percent of U.S. natural gas output, 23 percent of oil production and more than 45 percent of petroleum refining capacity, according to the U.S. Energy Department. Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico’s state-owned oil company, known as Pemex, has rigs in the bay.

Second System

Another system off Mexico’s Pacific coast, south of Acapulco, has a 30 percent chance of becoming tropical in the next two days. The two disturbances together “could bring heavy rains to portions of southern and eastern Mexico for the next several days,” the hurricane center said. “These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.”

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Gabrielle is moving north with sustained winds of 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour and is expected to weaken to a depression tomorrow before reaching Nova Scotia, according to the hurricane center.

Hurricane Humberto, with top sustained winds of 85 mph, was about 595 miles northwest of the Cape Verde Islands. It will probably become a tropical storm tomorrow and isn’t an immediate threat to land, the center said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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