Storm brewing in Gulf of Mexico to strengthen en route to Texas

(Reuters) -A storm system brewing in the Gulf of Mexico could strengthen into a named storm as it takes aim at the Texas coast, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Monday.

The system, named Tropical Depression Nine, was about 375 miles (600 km) east-southeast of Port Mansfield, Texas, and was packing maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour (55 kph), the Miami-based hurricane center said.

It could cause coastal flooding along the south Texas coast between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

The depression will likely bring 3 to 5 inches (7.6 to 12.7 cm) of rainfall, with isolated higher amounts of 7 inches (17.8 cm) on Tuesday and Wednesday, the hurricane center said.

There are a total of five storm systems now swirling in the Atlantic Ocean, with U.S. forecasters recently saying they now expect a more dangerous Atlantic storm season than previously projected.

Tropical storms are closely watched, especially in the Gulf of Mexico, because of the threat they pose to offshore oil and natural gas production in the United States and Mexico.

Offshore operations in the U.S.-regulated northern Gulf of Mexico accounts for 15% of total crude oil production and 5% of total dry natural gas output.

(Reporting by Harshit Verma, Rahul Paswan and Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Sandra Maler)


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