Atlantic weather stirs up trouble

| 02/09/2008

(CNS): As Gustav dissipated following its landfall yesterday and Hanna reverted to Tropical Storm status after reaching hurricane strength Ike (left) was rolling across the Atlantic with another depression (TD Ten) churning behind it in what is proving to be an exceptionally busy season, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) was issuing advisories on four separate weather systems in the Atlantic.

At the season’s halfway point, and with what is generally the busiest half still to go, if TD 10 reaches storm status (Josephine) as predicted, the Atlantic will be counting ten storms and four hurricanes in three months. The NHC was also saying this morning, (2 September) that Tropical Storm Ike is expected to strengthen within the next two days into a hurricane.

The NHC has been urging US residents in south-east to monitor the movement of Hanna, which was upgraded from a tropical storm yesterday to a hurricane and then down graded again today but its uncertainty is giving cause for concern.  "The uncertainty is such that it could hit anywhere from Miami to the outer banks of North Carolina," said Jessica Schauer Clark, a meteorologist at the national hurricane centre. "People really need to keep an eye on it." Hanna stalled for hours over the south-eastern Bahamas yesterday, lashing the islands with winds and rain.

The storms are proving a headache for cruise ship routes with cruise lines altering itineraries around Hanna and the list of ships affected is growing as Hanna continues its journey. Moreover as Ike rolls into the region the cruise industry said it expected that routes may also be affected by that storm as well.

The turmoil in the Atlantic is also giving the energy and commodity markets cause for concern as traders turned their attention to Ike which could reach the Bahamas, Hispaniola or Cuba by Sunday. In general energy traders watch for storms that could enter the Gulf and threaten U.S. oil and gas production facilities and commodities traders will watch storms that could hit agriculture crops like citrus in Florida and other states along the Gulf Coast to Texas.


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