Tropical Storm Danny, Expected to Become Hurricane, Heads Northeast

August 27, 2009

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Danny was located about 575 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, as of 8 a.m. EDT (Noon GMT) Thursday and packing winds near 60 miles per hour.

Danny was headed northwest at 10 mph, with the storm expected to strengthen into the season’s second hurricane in a couple of days as it headed more north to northeast on Friday, the NHC said.

Tropical storms pack winds in excess of 39 mph and reach hurricane status when maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph.

The NHC said interests from the Carolinas northward to New England should monitor the progress of the storm.

Several forecast tracks show the storm tracking between the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda, away from Gulf Coast oil and gas production.

The NHC was also monitoring a tropical wave over the far eastern Atlantic about 300 miles south-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands with a low chance — less than 30 percent — of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.

Energy traders keep a close eye on storms that could enter the Gulf of Mexico and disrupt offshore U.S. oil and natural gas production or refinery operations along the coast.

Commodities traders likewise watch storms that could damage agriculture crops such as citrus and cotton in Florida and other states along the coast to Texas.

Pricing of insurance-linked securities, which transfer insurance risks associated with natural disasters to capital markets investor and can be used to hedge other weather risk exposures, can also be affected by the path of a storm.

(Reporting by Eileen Moustakis; editing by Jim Marshall)

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