Fifty percent chance of tropical storm in Gulf of Mexico

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 27, 2011 8:33 PM
Fifty percent chance of tropical storm in Gulf of Mexico

(Reuters) - The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday a low pressure system over the eastern Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico had a 50 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours, from 30 percent earlier.

"Although upper-level winds are not currently conducive for significant development, these winds are forecast to become more favorable during the next day or so," the NHC said.

The NHC said an Air Force reserve unit hurricane hunter plane is scheduled to investigate the area, Mexico's main oil production region, on Tuesday, if necessary.

Locally heavy rains and gusty winds were possible over portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and southeastern Mexico and these rains and winds will gradually spread westward into northeastern Mexico during the next couple of days, the NHC added.

A few computer weather models forecast the system to move northwest over Mexico.

If the system strengthens into a storm, it will be named Arlene.

(Reporting by Naveen Arul in Bangalore)