Major storm in the Gulf of Mexico may strengthen into Tropical Storm Bonnie

By Phaedra Friend Troy

A tropical depression is currently affecting the Western Gulf of Mexico, threatening to make landfall sometime Thursday afternoon. WATCH NOW

“Tropical Disturbance 16 has been upgraded into Tropical Depression 2 out in the Western Gulf of Mexico,” reported Lauren Whisenhunt, meteorologist with ImpactWeather. “It is currently located about 125 miles to the east-southeast of Brownsville, Texas, and is moving up to the west-northwest at about 16 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.

Expected to make landfall on Thursday afternoon, the storm is packing heavy rains and strong winds.

“Now, yesterday at this time, we were thinking more along the lines of the mid- to upper-Texas coastline for landfall, but with more of a west-northwesterly track over the last 24 hours, this will take it into the lower Texas coastline early this afternoon -- near or just to the north of Brownsville,” Wisenhunt advised.

Heavy rainfall is expected from the Bay of Campeche through the Louisiana coastline, with maximum sustained winds of around 35 miles per hour.

Currently, there is a tropical storm warning for the southern coast of Texas, and should the storm strengthen, it will become Tropical Storm Bonnie.

This comes a week after the first storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricane Alex, struck northern Mexico. Twenty-three named storms are expected in the next five months.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, adverse weather conditions caused by this storm have delayed the installation and hook-up of the Helix Producer and floating risers to the oil spill containment system.

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