Hurricane Ike pummels Cuba, aims for Gulf Coast
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hurricane Ike remained a powerful Category 2 hurricane as it briefly moves back over water south of Cuba before charging on toward the oil-rich Texas-Louisiana coast later in the week, the U.S. National Hurricane Center forecast in its 2 p.m. EDT report on Monday.
The NHC expects Ike to lose some strength over the next day or so when it returns overland in western Cuba.
It should emerge from Cuba in about 36 hours as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 74 to 95 miles per hour and mushroom into a Category 3 storm with winds of 111 to 130 mph before crashing into the U.S. Gulf Coast over the weekend, the NHC said.
Energy traders watch for storms that could enter the Gulf of Mexico and threaten U.S. oil and natural gas infrastructure along the coast.
Commodities traders likewise watch storms that could hit agriculture crops like citrus and cotton in Florida and other states along the Gulf Coast to Texas.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, the NHC said there was less than a 20 percent chance the remnants of Josephine would reorganize over the next 48 hours. The remnants were located about 1,100 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands.
The Leeward Islands include the Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Saint Martin, Barbuda, Antigua, Montserrat and Guadeloupe.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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