Hurricane Earl forms in the Atlantic, another storm hot on its trail

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Currently, there are two hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, and another storm is expected to develop into a third hurricane within days, reports ImpactWeather

Look to PennEnergy and its daily Global Offshore Weather Report for up-to-date video coverage of offshore wind, waves and weather for the four busiest offshore regions worldwide, including the Gulf of Mexico.

While not a threat to Gulf of Mexico production, Hurricane Danielle is making its way up the Atlantic coast as a Category 1 storm. Currently located 440 miles south of Cape Race, Newfoundland, Hurricane Danielle is expected to dissipate without making landfall, weakening over the far North Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricane Earl Strengthens

Presently a Category 2 storm, Hurricane Earl is located about 25 miles north-northeast of St. Martin. The storm is expected to travel across the Virgin Islands Monday afternoon, and Puerto Rico is bracing for hurricane-force winds as well.

Strengthening as it travels, Hurricane Earl is packing sustained winds near 110 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Traveling at a rate of 14 miles per hour, Hurricane Earl is expected to take a turn toward the northwest on Tuesday, tracking the storm along the Atlantic Coast of the United States.

Tropical Disturbance 43 May Become Hurricane Fiona

With a 90 percent chance of strengthening into Tropical Storm Fiona within the next 48 hours, Tropical Disturbance 43 is an area of low pressure located about 1,040 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

Quickly becoming better organized in the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Disturbance 43 is traveling westward at a rate of 20 miles per hour and is expected to form into a tropical depression by later Monday. Furthermore, there is a 70-percent chance that Tropical Disturbance 43 will strengthen into a hurricane within the next 48 hours.

Model tracks of this storm diverge, with most tracks predicting the storm will travel up the eastern US coast, making landfall anywhere between Jacksonville, Florida and New England within the next week. At least one track shows the storm entering the Gulf of Mexico.

Atlantic Hurricane Season Heats Up

Forecast to be “extremely active,” the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane season is just starting to heat up. ImpactWeather meteorologist and hurricane expert Chris Hebert advised that historically 90 to 95 percent of the hurricanes occur from Aug. 1 to Oct. 15.

While predictions about the number of hurricanes the 2010 season will produce vary, experts agree that this year could be the year of the storm – with up to 23 named storms forecasted at one point.

The oil and gas industry has been proactive in its safety measures this year, evacuating personnel ahead of oncoming storms and shutting-in production when necessary.

In addition to threatening offshore drilling and production platforms, hurricanes pose threats to subsea pipelines and shoreline refineries.

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