Tropical Storm Cindy threatens U.S. Gulf Coast

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Tropical Storm Cindy just before landfall on July 6, 2005 at 0245 UTC.

In what has been called the busiest start in recorded history for the U.S. hurricane season, newly-formed Tropical Storm Cindy was making its way toward the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The storm was expected to make landfall in Louisiana with 70 mile-per-hour winds also affecting neighboring states of Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida panhandle area late Tuesday night. Weather forecasters were calling for up to 10 inches of rain, lightning and the possibility of tornadoes to be spawned by the storm.

Cindy is expected to weaken after making landfall and is not expected to develop into a full-fledged hurricane since it is too close to the shore and will be robbed of warm ocean waters essential for a tropical storm's growth. A true hurricane is defined as a tropical storm with sustained wind speeds of 74 miles per hour or greater.

Cindy wasn't alone in U.S. hurricane weather news Tuesday. Another tropical storm, named Dennis, formed in the warm shallow waters of the Caribbean off the coast of Jamaica. Dennis is expected to pass into the Gulf of Mexico and develop into a hurricane as it strengthens over the gulf waters.

Oil companies which have crude oil pumping rigs which resemble man-made islands in the Gulf of Mexico are busy evacuating to take workers to safety as Dennis approaches.

The U.S. hurricane season lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30. Officials say that never before in recorded history have there been four named storms by July 5.