Tropical Storm Alex expected to strengthen into a hurricane within hours

By Phaedra Friend Troy 

Located less than 300 miles southeast of Brownsville, Texas, Tropical Storm Alex is expected to become a hurricane within hours. The storm has been strengthening as it travels over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, becoming better organized. WATCH NOW

The first named storm in the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, Alex currently packs maximum sustained winds near 70 miles per hour, with winds extending from the center of the storm some 175 miles out. Rainfall produced by the storm could reach up to 12 inches in some areas.

Oil production in the US Gulf of Mexico has been curtailed, with some offshore facilities being shut-in in preparation for the storm, as well as some personnel being evacuated.

Major oil producer Shell has evacuated some 900 nonessential workers, with 630 remaining. Furthermore, production has been shut-in from the company’s Centeral and Western Gulf of Mexico assets, and drilling operations have been halted in those regions of the Gulf of Mexico.

Moving northweast at a rate of 12 miles per hour, Tropical Storm Alex is expected to turn more to the west over the course of Wednesday. Expected to make landfall in Northern Mexico or Southern Texas late Wednesday, both sides of the border are on alert and under storm warnings.

ImpactWeather forecasts Alex making landfall 40 to 50 miles south of Brownsville as a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with winds reaching 105 miles per hour. 

Look to PennEnergy’s Global Offshore Weather Report daily to find out the most up-to-date information about this storm, as well as wind, weather and wave information for the nine busiest offshore regions worldwide.

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