Hurricane experts warning that Idalia will rapidly intensify the closer it gets to Florida

Hurricane Idalia

Important Takeaways:

  • Hurricane Warning in effect as AccuWeather warns Idalia will undergo explosive strengthening ahead of Florida landfall
  • AccuWeather hurricane experts say the storm will rapidly intensify into a powerful major hurricane over the eastern Gulf of Mexico before making landfall in the state’s Big Bend area of the coast.
  • An ‘extreme’ risk for impacts is now in place for a portion of the Sunshine State, centered around the region bridging the Gulf coasts of the panhandle and peninsula. This area will be most at risk for life-threatening storm surge flooding, damaging winds and torrential rain as Hurricane Idalia approaches on Wednesday morning.
  • Officials issued mandatory evacuation orders on Monday for parts of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties in Florida due to life-threatening conditions anticipated
  • Given the risk for rapid intensification, an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 155 mph is possible near landfall near the panhandle and Big Bend of Florida. AccuWeather hurricane experts are forecasting Idalia to come ashore as a major hurricane, with Category 3 level winds (111 to 129 mph) on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
  • It’s not out of the question that some portions of Tampa Bay could have a storm surge of 7 or 8 feet, according to AccuWeather Lead Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski. The greatest storm surge, perhaps as high as 10-15 feet, is expected near and just to the southeast of Idalia’s landfall.
  • Where the most intense rainfall occurs, rainfall totals can approach an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 18 inches, which would lead to major, life-threatening flooding, since most of the rain will fall over the span of 12 hours or less.
  • “Tornadoes can also occur to the east of the center of the circulation as it moves across Florida”

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Tropical system brewing: FL Emergency team directed to prepare

Important Takeaways:

  • Florida could be in sights of tropical system brewing, hurricane center says
  • A tropical depression or storm has a high chance of forming from a system moving north toward the Gulf of Mexico with the potential to hit Florida, the National Hurricane Center said.
  • “I’ve directed @KevinGuthrieFL & the FL Emergency Management team to prepare for a potential tropical system currently moving across the Yucatán Peninsula,” Gov. Ron DeSantis posted on X on Thursday night. “Residents should remain vigilant and prepare for possible impacts early next week.”
  • “Environmental conditions appear conducive for gradual development of this system during the next several days, and a tropical depression is likely to form late this weekend or early next week while moving generally northward over the northwestern Caribbean Sea and eastern Gulf of Mexico,” forecasters said.

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Tropical Storm Harold heading into Texas as millions are under severe weather warning


Important Takeaways:

  • One million coastal residents are under severe weather warning as Texas braces for Tropic storm Harold that is due to hit land today
  • Tropical Storm Harold is set to batter Texas today, placing one million coastal residents under a severe weather warning.
  • The tropical depression formed in the Gulf of Mexico overnight and is now bearing down on the Lone Star State, the National Hurricane Center said early Tuesday.
  • The storm, brewing east-southeast of Port Mansfield, is already packing maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, the Miami-based forecaster said, with its strength expected to increase by the time it makes land.
  • Texas residents are warned that Harold is set to arrive inland by noon Tuesday, as the storm warning was put in place in readiness at 1am this morning.
  • It comes as rescue crews work to dig roads, buildings and care home residents out of the mud across a wide swathe of south-western US desert as Storm Hilary – the first tropical storm to hit Southern California in 84 years – heads north, prompting flood watches and warnings in half a dozen states.

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Hurricane Season is around the corner and the water is setting record temperature highs from Texas to Florida

Sea Surface Temps

Important Takeaways:

  • Gulf of Mexico waters are hottest on record as coastal areas cook
  • The entire Gulf Coast region is seeing its hottest August on record so far, and many locations are also seeing their warmest year to date.
  • New Orleans also just finished its hottest seven-day stretch and has set record highs on 12 straight days (through Aug. 14).
  • Like land areas that surround it, the Gulf of Mexico has been running hot all year. Recent data indicate coastal water temperatures of at least 90 degrees from Texas to Florida.
  • “The Gulf of Mexico this week is the hottest it’s been at any point in any year on record by a wide margin,” Lowry tweeted.
  • The warm water has boosted the humidity along the Gulf Coast and kept overnight temperatures at record-high levels. New Orleans and Baton Rouge have already registered 11 record warm lows this month. And Houston and Orlando have each seen 10.
  • At the same time, there are signs the hurricane season may be about to awaken. Already, there are concerning signs that a disturbance could move into the gulf early next week. If it does, it will have exceptionally warm waters to fuel it. Certainly something to keep an eye on.

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Oil and gas lease approved. Largest sale in history. Inflation Reduction Act reinstates sale spanning 80.8 million acres

Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • Biden approves largest oil, gas lease sale in US history, steamrolls eco review with inflation bill
  • The Inflation Reduction Act reinstates Lease Sale 257, an oil and gas sale spanning 80.8 million acres across the Gulf of Mexico
  • “Congress has acted, the leases must be issued, and the lawsuit must be dismissed,” he continued.
  • In November, the DOI held the lease sale which generated more than $191 million in bids for 308 tracts from fossil fuel companies despite criticism from several prominent Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups. However, a federal court blocked the sale in January ruling in favor of a coalition, led by Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club, that argued the Biden administration failed to properly analyze the climate impacts of the sale.

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Department of Interior cans oil and gas production in Alaska and Gulf of Mexico

Rev 6:6 NAS “And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Biden administration cancels Alaska oil and gas lease sale
  • The Biden administration has canceled one of the most high-profile oil and gas lease opportunities pending before the Interior Department. The decision, which halts the potential to drill for oil in over 1 million acres in the Cook Inlet in Alaska, comes at a challenging political moment, when gas prices are hitting painful new highs.
  • The department also halted two leases under consideration for the Gulf of Mexico region because of “conflicting court rulings that impacted work on these proposed lease sales.”

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U.S. moves to expand offshore wind beyond the Northeast

(Reuters) – The Biden administration on Thursday unveiled fresh steps toward building offshore wind farms in waters off the coasts of Massachusetts, the Carolinas and in the Gulf of Mexico.

The announcement is the government’s latest in an aggressive push to expand the nascent ocean industry to every U.S. coastline in a bid to wean the power sector off fossil fuels and address climate change.

To date, most U.S. development of offshore wind has taken place in the Atlantic Ocean off the coasts of Northeastern states. But the administration is eager to site projects in other areas, including the Southern Atlantic and West coasts.

In a statement, the Department of the Interior said it would propose an offshore wind auction in a 127,865-acre area off the coast of the Carolinas. The area could be divided into three leases and has the potential for enough energy to power more than half a million homes.

The public will be able to comment on the proposal for 60 days. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a division of Interior, could finalize a sale early next year.

The agency also said it would invite the public to weigh in on the potential for wind energy development in a 30 million-acre area of the Gulf of Mexico. The area stretches from just west of the Mississippi River to the Texas-Mexico border.

The move is an early-stage effort to consider offshore wind in the Gulf, which is home to the nation’s biggest offshore oil and gas drilling industry. Before deciding on whether to lease in the Gulf, BOEM would have to conduct an environmental review and seek input from the public and a government task force set up to consider offshore wind in the region.

Finally, the administration said it would kick off an environmental review for a project off the coast of Massachusetts, Mayflower Wind. The wind farm will have up to 147 turbines with the potential to power 800,000 homes.

Mayflower Wind is a joint venture between Shell New Energies U.S. LLC and Ocean Winds, a joint venture between EDP Renewables and ENGIE.

(Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Oil falls as storm-hit U.S. supply trickles back into market

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Oil prices fell on Friday as energy companies in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico restarted production after back-to-back hurricanes in the region shut output.

Both Brent and U.S. crude benchmarks were on track for weekly gains of 3.2% and 3.3%, respectively, owing to the recent supply tightness due to the hurricane outages.

Brent crude futures fell 42 cents to $75.25 a barrel by 12:48 p.m. EDT (1648 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 60 cents to $72.01 a barrel.

Friday’s slump came after five straight sessions of rises for Brent. On Wednesday, Brent hit its highest since late July, and U.S. crude hit its highest since early August.

“The reason oil prices reached such highs in the last few days was clearly supply disruptions and drawdowns in inventories, so now that U.S. oil production is returning, oil as expected trades lower,” said Nishant Bhushan, Rystad Energy’s oil markets analyst.

Gulf Coast crude oil exports are flowing again after hurricanes Nicholas and Ida took out 26 million barrels of offshore production. Restarts continued with about 28% of U.S. Gulf of Mexico crude output offline, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The dollar climbed to a multi-week high on Friday, making dollar-denominated crude more expensive for those using other currencies. The dollar got a boost from better-than-expected U.S. retail sales data on Thursday.

U.S. consumer sentiment steadied in early September after plunging the month before to its lowest level in nearly a decade, but consumers remain worried about inflation, a survey showed on Friday.

(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York; additional reporting by Julia Payne in London, Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore; Editing by David Goodman, Louise Heavens and David Gregorio)

Oil companies evacuate workers as storm heads for U.S. Gulf of Mexico

HOUSTON (Reuters) -Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron on Thursday began evacuating non-essential personnel from offshore U.S. Gulf of Mexico platforms ahead of a storm expected to enter the Gulf this weekend.

A storm brewing in the Caribbean Sea could become a major hurricane this weekend and strike the U.S. Gulf Coast by Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said. Hurricanes with winds of up to 111 miles per hour (178 km) are classified as major and can bring devastating damage onshore.

“This storm has the potential for rapid increases in intensity before it comes ashore” because of extremely warm waters off Louisiana, said Jim Foerster, chief meteorologist at DTN, which provides weather information to offshore oil and transportation companies.

Shell said evacuations covered all eight of its Gulf of Mexico properties and a floating production and storage vessel was being moved out of harms way. Chevron said its Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production remained at normal levels.

“Water temperatures are 85 degrees to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (29-31 C), that’s anomalously high, 3 to 5 degrees higher than it normally would be,” said DTN’s Foerster. A projected path over warm waters will result in heavy rains and flooding as it nears the central Gulf Coast, he said.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams; editing by David Evans and David Gregorio)

Tropical Storm Fred takes aim at Florida with dangerous surges

(Reuters) -Tropical Storm Fred gained momentum on Monday as it barreled toward the Florida Panhandle, closing some schools amid forecasts of “very dangerous” surges of 5 feet (1.5 meters) of water.

By early afternoon, the storm was 50 miles (80 km) south of Apalachicola, Florida, said Robbie Berg, hurricane specialist at the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC).

It was expected to make landfall in the eastern Florida Panhandle area later on Monday.

Winds strengthened to 60 miles per hour (97 kph) but were not expected to reach hurricane levels of 74 miles per hour (119 kph).

“We’re not currently forecasting it to reach hurricane strength. It’s running out of time because we do think it will reach the coast later today,” Berg said.

“We do think we could get storm surge as much as 5 feet (1.5 meters) above ground level, so if you were to stay in those areas, it would be very dangerous,” Berg said.

Additionally, heavy rainfall of up to 12 inches (30 cm) in some isolated spots in Florida was forecast, as well as drenching downpours in southeastern Alabama, Georgia and the western Carolinas, said senior hurricane specialist Richard Tasch.

But after landfall, the storm was expected to weaken quickly, Tasch said.

By midmorning on Monday, the storm was about 80 miles (130 km) southwest of Apalachicola and was moving northward at about 10 miles per hour (16 km per hour), according NHC.

Fred was expected to pick up strength as it tracked through warm Gulf of Mexico waters.

But after landfall, the storm was expected to weaken quickly, Tasch said.

Several school districts in western Florida closed for the day, promising to reopen on Tuesday.

“Buses cannot safely transport students at winds greater than 35 mph and current information indicates that we may experience 35 mph wind gusts beginning around 1 p.m.,” the Santa Rosa County school district said on its website.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman)