Tropical Storm Alex is gaining strength in the Gulf and will most likely become a hurricane by Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. In their three-day forecast, they predict that the storm will hit southeast Texas and the northeast of Mexico sometime late Wednesday night into Thursday morning. They expect it to be a category 3 hurricane.
A hurricane watch is currently in effect for the coast of Texas south of Baffin Bay to the mouth of the Rio Grande and the coast of Mexico from the mouth of the Rio Grande to La Cruz. Alex has been moving slowly north-northwest and has already sustained winds up to 60 mph.
Hurricane watches are issued when hurricane conditions are possible within the selected areas. It is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical storm force winds.
Although the storm’s center is not expected to approach the area of the oil spill, the National Hurricane Center warned that the outer wind field could push the oil from the spill farther inland. It has also caused gulf oil workers to be evacuated in some areas. BP has stated that the storm will put the company a week behind in its plan to double oil collection.
Alex has already killed at least 4 people in Central America.