Tropical Disturbance Could Threaten Gulf of Mexico

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is tracking a tropical disturbance in the Caribbean Sea that has a 30 percent chance of turning into a depression or storm in the next 48 hours, with computer models suggesting that the storm could turn towards the Gulf of Mexico and possibly the site of the BP oil spill.

The disturbance is producing showers and thunderstorms over Eastern Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. According to NHC, upper-level winds appear conducive for some slow development as the disturbance moves westward around 10 miles per hour into the Western Caribbean Sea over the next day or two.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported last month that it anticipates a busy hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin, with a 70 percent probability of 14 to 23 named storms with top winds of 39 miles per hour or higher, including eight to 14 hurricanes with top winds of 74 miles per hour or greater and three to seven Category 3 or higher hurricanes.