NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Danny, off the coast of North Carolina on Thursday, was expected to slowly become the season's second hurricane during the next couple of days, while a tropical wave could strengthen into a cyclone, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
As of 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), Danny was packing winds near 60 miles per hour about 550 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, and "wobbling" westward, moving somewhat erratically at about 13 mph, the NHC said.
It could turn into a hurricane as it heads more north to northeast on Friday, the NHC added.
Tropical storms pack winds in excess of 39 mph and reach hurricane status when maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph.
The NHC said interests from the Carolinas northward to New England should monitor the progress of the storm.
Several forecast tracks show the storm tracking north along the U.S. East Coast, once again toward Nova Scotia and Canadian Maritimes, on a similar path to last weekend's first hurricane of the 2009 season, Bill.
The NHC will issue its next advisory on Danny at 5 p.m. EDT.
In a 2 p.m. EDT update, the NHC said a tropical wave located over the far eastern Atlantic Ocean, about 350 miles south-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, now had a medium chance -- 30 to 50 percent -- of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours as it moved westward at 10 to 15 mph.
Earlier Thursday the NHC said the system had less than a 30 percent chance of further development.
Energy traders keep a close eye on storms that could enter the Gulf of Mexico and disrupt offshore U.S. oil and natural gas production or refinery operations along the coast.
Commodities traders likewise watch storms that could damage agriculture crops such as citrus and cotton in Florida and other states along the coast to Texas.
Pricing of insurance-linked securities, which transfer insurance risks associated with natural disasters to capital markets investors and can be used to hedge other weather risk exposures, can also be affected by the path of a storm.
For additional news on the insurance-linked securities market, go to here
Reporting by Eileen Moustakis; Editing by Marguerita Choy