Tropical Storm Don

July 29, 2011 by staff 

Tropical Storm DonTropical Storm Don, Tropical Storm Don may experience some “mild” strengthen before making landfall on the Texas coast today, the National Hurricane Center. Don is 335 miles (540 kilometers) southeast of Corpus Christi, with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles (72 kilometers) per hour, according to a bulletin of the National Hurricane Center issued before 2 am on the East Coast today. The system is expected to come ashore near Corpus Christi as a tropical storm later today or early tomorrow, the center said.

Tropical storm warnings and watches were posted along the Texas coast from Galveston Island to the border with Mexico.

“Don is one thing small scale,” said Jim Rouiller, senior energy meteorologist at Planalytics Inc. in Berwyn, Pennsylvania yesterday. “It is important for the power industry to understand this will represent a very small impact. There may be some brief, short-term shut-ins and can evacuate staff not essential, but the people who maintain the pumps will still be in business. ”

The storms are closely watched because they are a threat to oil interests and natural gas in the Gulf, where 31 percent of U.S. oil production and 7 percent of natural gas production. Coastal refineries representing 7.61 million barrels per day, or 42 percent of U.S. capacity.

Don has forced the closure of about 6.8 percent of oil production and 2.8 percent of Gulf gas production, according to the Office of Ocean Energy management, regulation and enforcement.

Northern Natural Gas production closed its Matagorda Pipeline System offshore in the gulf that extends from the Tivoli Mustang Island, according to a notice to customers.

Enbridge Inc. said in a statement it had evacuated its staff from West Cameron 509 platform and allows the free flow of gas from the coast.

BP Plc said on Thursday it had suspended production at its Atlantis platform, and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) said it had evacuated workers and shut production at its Marco Polo, Nansen, Boomvang, Gunnison, Red Falcon and facilities Constitution of production.

Apache Corp. (APA) evacuated 368 production employees and contractors of its facilities in the western Gulf, according to an update posted on the website of the company yesterday. The company said it has cut 15.5 million cubic feet of gas and 1,890 barrels of oil production per day.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) closed Perdido Spar platform. Shell and Chevron Corp. (CVX) said they were removing nonessential workers of some operations.

“Current expectations are that Don will remain south of the producing region in the Gulf” due to the high pressure zone in the South, which has led to weeks of extreme heat, said Travis Hartman, manager of the energy of the time MDA EarthSat energy in Gaithersburg, Maryland yesterday. “Ultimately, Don brings welcomed rain to some areas affected by drought in Mexico and Texas, while also creating some additional comments on the markets, as is the first important season. ”

Don is expected to drop from 3 inches to 5 inches of rain across drought-stricken South Texas and up to 7 inches in isolated areas, according to the center.

“Texas needs rain with a name,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said in a statement. “Hopefully this is only the kickoff of a series of rain events to break the grip of this devastating drought.”

A time system becomes a tropical storm when it develops characteristics of the cyclone, and becomes a named storm when winds reach at least 39 mph. A storm becomes a hurricane when winds hit 74 mph.

Don is the dry air in the western Gulf, together with wind shear can prevent intensifies before landing, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“The current orientation is in good agreement that Don landfall as a tropical storm and a hurricane,” according to ananlysis of the hurricane center, forecast yesterday.

The storm is expected to melt in about three days.

U.S. has not had a direct hit from a tropical storm Bonnie since she landed in Florida in July 2010. The last hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. Ike was a Category 2 storm in Texas in 2008.

Forecasters also monitored an area of?? Disturbed weather about 1,200 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles, which has a 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next two days, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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