MIAMI (AP) - Tropical Storm Alex formed in the western Caribbean on Saturday, and forecasters said it was unclear if it would hit the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said early
Saturday that the storm has maximum sustained winds of about 45 mph
(75 kph). Most storm models show Alex traveling over the Yucatan
Peninsula of Mexico over the weekend, hurricane forecaster Jack
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the coast of Belize
and the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, which separates the
Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico.
Somewhere between 69 million and 132 million gallons of crude
have spewed into the water since the rig Deepwater Horizon exploded
April 20, killing 11 workers.
The storm raises concerns over what might happen to efforts to
contain the oil if BP is forced to abandon the area for a while. An
armada of ships is working in the Gulf.
A cap has been placed over the blown-out undersea well and it is
carrying some of the oil to a surface ship where it is being
collected. Some of the oil is being brought to the surface and
burned. Other ships are drilling two relief wells, projected to be
done by August, and are the best hope to stop the leak.
Forecasters have said they can't speculate about what rough
weather would do to oil in the water.
The tropical storm is on track to reach the peninsula by late
Saturday. It is about 75 miles (120 km) east of Belize City and
about 100 miles (160 km) southeast of the Mexican city Chetumal. It
was moving toward the west-northwest at about 13 mph (21 kph).
Meanwhile in the Pacific, two major hurricanes are swirling but
don't pose an immediate threat to land. Darby was a Category 2
storm on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds near 110 mph (or
The hurricane is about 310 miles (500 kilometers)
south-southwest of Zihuatanejo, Mexico. It's heading west near 3
mph (6 kph).
Hurricane Celia weakened Saturday to a Category 1 storm farther
out in the Pacific. Celia's maximum sustained winds have decreased
to 90 mph (150 kph). It is about 910 miles (1,460 kilometers)
southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California
peninsula. The hurricane center says Celia is approaching cooler
waters and is expected to continue weakening.
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