Tropical depressions could form in Atlantic

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Energy and commodities markets on Tuesday were watching a couple of low-pressure systems in the Atlantic Ocean that could develop into tropical depressions over the next day or so.

The energy market watched a couple of low pressure systems in the Atlantic Ocean that could develop into tropical depressions or storms over the next couple of days. REUTERS/NOAA/Handout

Neither system, however, is expected to reach the Gulf of Mexico over the next five days, if at all, according to the major weather models.

In the central Atlantic, a broad area of low pressure associated with a tropical wave about 650 miles east of the Lesser Antilles could develop into a tropical depression during the next day or so as it moves west-northwest at 10 to 15 miles per hour, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its 8 a.m. EDT report.

The NHC said an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft was scheduled to investigate the central Atlantic system later today, if necessary.

Most weather models showed the central Atlantic system would steer north of the Lesser Antilles and threaten the Turks and Caicos and Bahamas in about five days.

In the eastern Atlantic, the NHC said a tropical depression could form over the next day or so within a large area of disturbed weather extending from the Cape Verde Islands west-southwest for several hundred miles as it moves west at about 10 to 15 mph.

Most weather models showed the Cape Verde system would not threaten land in North America this week. It should be about 700 miles northeast of the Virgin Islands in about five days, according to the weather models.

If either system strengthens into a tropical storm, with winds of 39 to 73 mph, the NHC will name it Fay.

Energy traders watch for storms that could enter the Gulf of Mexico and threaten U.S. oil and gas production facilities.

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.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by John Picinich