MIAMI (June 25, 2010)—A low pressure area between the northern coast of Honduras and Grand Cayman developed Friday into the first tropical depression of the Atlantic hurricane season; something that forecasters and officials overseeing the cleanup of the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico are concerned about.
National Hurricane Center forecasters expect it to move to the west-northwest and reach the Yucatan Peninsula in a day or two.
Forecasters said Friday that the depression has winds of about 35 miles per hour.
A tropical storm warning was issued for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, which separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico.
The warning is in effect in Mexico from Chetumal north to Cancun.
U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who’s in charge of the situation in the Gulf, said Friday the issue for crews in and along the Gulf is safety.
“We have a lot of personnel out there on those rigs,” he said.
“I don’t think anyone wants a vessel out there trying to skim oil with the weather building beyond gale force winds.”
On shore, residents along the coast are also concerned about what could happen if the storm pushes ashore, overwhelming efforts to protect beaches, wetlands and waterways and making an already bad situation much worse.