U.S. natural gas prices, pushed to a record high after hurricanes Katrina and Rita barreled through the Gulf of Mexico eight years ago, are now more vulnerable to winter freezes than tropical storms after production moved onshore with the growth of drilling in shale formations.
An area of low pressure about 650 miles (1,046 kilometers) south of Acapulco, Mexico, has a 30 percent chance of growing into a tropical system in the next two days, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
After the biggest Atlantic storm on record struck the New Jersey shore last October, Seaside Heights Mayor William Akers was asked repeatedly if the town would rebuild in time to welcome summer tourists. “Oh, no problem,” he’d reply.
President Barack Obama met with chief executives of utility companies and their affiliated lobby groups on minimizing power disruptions during major storms like those that occurred in the Northeast after Superstorm Sandy.
An above-average number of storms will emerge from the Atlantic this hurricane season, and the odds of the U.S. being hit by a major system are about 70 percent greater than predicted last year, Colorado State University researchers said.
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials fell 2.3 percent to settle at 608.83, led by precious metals. The broad measure fell the most since Nov. 7 and to the lowest point since July 10.