Tropical Storm Dorian formed in the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday and has been gaining strength since then. The storm’s winds sustained a top speed of 50 mph.
Dorian is about 615 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands and is moving west-northwest at 20 mph. Little change is expected in the tropical storm’s strength in the next 48 hours.
Bloomberg reports that the US National Hurricane Center predicts that a west-northwest to westward path will continue for the tropical storm through at least Thursday.
The path could take the storm into the Caribbean Sea. Tropical Storm Dorian is the fourth storm of the Atlantic season, which normally runs from June 1 until November 30. But Dorian is ahead of schedule — a sign that this year’s hurricane season could be much more busy than in previous years.
The fourth system between 1966 and 2009 typically formed by August 23, making Tropical Storm Dorian a month early. Weather models are predicting that the storm will continue to move west. The five-day model predicts that Dorian will pass north of Puerto Rico by the end of the month.
It is unlikely the storm will intensify, because of cooler water and dry wind shear in the Atlantic, notes NBC News. But if Dorian holds through the bad conditions, it could pose a threat to the US. The storm could bring rain and wind to the southern United States or the Bahamas sometime next week.
Atlantic storms like Tropical Storm Dorian are often watched by commodities traders, because they can wreak havoc on natural gas and oil production, particularly if they hit the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf is home to about six percent of the United States’ natural gas production. It also boasts 23 percent of the nation’s oil production.
And the Bay of Campeche, at the Gulf’s southern end, is home to the majority of Mexico’s oil production. It is not yet clear if Tropical Storm Dorian will threaten the production of these commodities.
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