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Weather & Science

Hurricane Threat Shifts to US East as Gulf Coast Dodges a Strike

  • Door nearly closed on chance of hurricane hitting western Gulf
  • Refinery impact could have been disastrous amid low stocks

The risk of a hurricane strike is shifting to the US East Coast and the Caribbean as the storm season enters its final weeks, with the threat of a blow to the western Gulf this year all but disappearing.

In mid-October, the fast-flowing air current known as the jet stream starts to sink lower across North America, making it difficult for a hurricane to slam into Texas and Louisiana, said Paul Walker, a meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. Though storms that form at this time of year can still be dangerous -- 2012’s Superstorm Sandy was one -- they aren’t a threat to homes and businesses on the oil-rich western Gulf Coast.