August 18, 2009 / 12:32 PM / 10 years ago

Ana remnants may regain strength in Gulf of Mexico

A satellite image shows Tropical Depression Claudette over southern Alabama, Tropical Depression Ana south of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Hurricane Bill east of the Lesser Antilles, on August 17, 2009. REUTERS/NOAA/Handout

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tropical rainstorm Ana might regain strength over the warm water of the eastern Gulf of Mexico later this week, but has little chance of becoming a cyclone over the next day or so as it crosses Haiti and Cuba, several weather forecasters predicted Tuesday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center forecast the remnants of Ana, currently producing thunderstorms over Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas, had a low chance - less than 30 percent - of becoming a tropical cyclone again over the next 48 hours.

AccuWeather.com said it was unlikely but possible the system could regenerate over the eastern Gulf later in the week.

While the energy market watched Ana move toward the Gulf, weather forecasters focused on Hurricane Bill as it churned west-northwest across the Atlantic about 810 miles east of the Leeward Islands.

Bill is a dangerous Category 2 hurricane with winds near 100 miles per hour and could strengthen into a major Category 3 storm with winds over 110 mph in a day or so.

The hurricane is moving north-northwest at 17 mph on a track that will take it past Bermuda over the weekend, and possibly making landfall with the U.S. East Coast sometime next week.

Energy traders watch for storms that could enter the Gulf of Mexico and threaten U.S. oil and natural gas platforms and refineries along the coast.

Commodity traders watch storms that could hit crops such as citrus and cotton in Florida and other states along the coast to Texas.

NHC website: www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by John Picinich

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