Ingrid Weakens to Depression as Humberto Regains Strength

Storm Ingrid weakened from a hurricane to a tropical depression as it moved into Mexico with heavy rain, killing almost three dozen people, while Humberto regained tropical-storm strength in the central Atlantic.

Ingrid, along with the remains of Pacific storm Manuel, may leave 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 centimeters) of rain in some areas, with others receiving as much as 25 inches, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

“Ingrid and its remnants are expected to produce torrential rains across eastern and central Mexico for the next couple of days,” Daniel Brown, a warning coordination meteorologist at the center in Miami, wrote in a forecast analysis. “These rains will likely to continue to cause life-threatening flooding and mudslides.”

An estimated 6,000 people were evacuated in the state of Veracruz, Mexico’s Reforma newspaper reported on Sept. 14. Heavy rain and landslides caused by Ingrid and Manuel have caused at least 33 deaths, according to the Associated Press.

Ingrid was 75 miles (120 kilometers) west of La Pesca, Mexico, moving west at 6 miles per hour as of 5 p.m. New York time. Its top sustained winds were 35 mph, down from Category 1 hurricane strength of 75 mph.

Pemex Operations

Over the weekend, Ingrid drifted west across the Bay of Campeche where Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico’s state-owned oil company known as Pemex, has its two largest oil fields. They produce about 1.25 million barrels a day.

Pemex suspended air and sea operations at its rigs in the bay, according to a company statement last week. The oil ports of Cayo Arcas, which processes about 68 percent of Mexico’s crude exports, and Dos Bocas were closed, the country’s Merchant Marine said in a weather bulletin dated Sept. 14. The ports have reopened.

The storm is expected to track across central Mexico and won’t be a threat to U.S. energy interests in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf is home to about 23 percent of U.S. crude production, 5.6 percent of gas output, and more than 45 percent of petroleum refining capacity, according to data from the Energy Department.

In the central Atlantic, Tropical Storm Humberto was about 1,210 miles west-southwest of the Azores with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, according to the hurricane center. It’s moving west-northwest at 6 mph and isn’t an immediate threat to land.

Humberto may regain hurricane status by week’s end, the center said.

The agency is also tracking a disturbance in the northwestern Caribbean that is forecast to cross the Yucatan Peninsula and enter the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. It has a 20 percent chance of becoming tropical in the next five days, the center said.

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