Atlantic Brews Up Three Chances for Year’s Next Tropical Storm

By Brian K. Sullivan | July 21, 2020

Forecasters are tracking three potential tropical systems in the Atlantic, including two that could threaten the Gulf of Mexico.

A patch of showers and thunderstorms off Texas has a 10% chance of becoming 2020’s seventh storm, the National Hurricane Center said Monday. It joins two other systems swirling further east in the Atlantic. There’s a good chance the latest system will never develop, and it’s forecast to move over land soon.

A second group of thunderstorms near Cuba is a more pressing threat. It could reach the Gulf of Mexico Thursday and has a 20% chance of becoming a storm.

“Environmental conditions could become a little more conducive for development of this system once it reaches the Gulf of Mexico,” Jack Beven, a senior hurricane specialist at the center wrote in a forecast.

A third system, 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) west of Cabo Verde off the African coast, has a 20% chance of developing in the next five days.

Hurricanes and tropical storms in the Gulf can shake oil and natural gas markets. In June, Tropical Storm Cristobal temporarily shut about one third of crude-oil output and gas production in the region.

Storms are named when their winds reach 39 miles per hour. So far six have formed in the Atlantic in 2020, a record fast start to the six-month season that ends Nov. 30.

About the photo: Heavy winds whip palm trees during Hurricane Dorian in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. Photographer: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg

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