Sixty percent chance of cyclone over Gulf of Mexico: NHC

Wed Sep 7, 2011 8:12am EDT
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(Reuters) - The low pressure system over the extreme southwestern Gulf of Mexico had a 60 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an early report Wednesday.

A U.S. Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft was scheduled to fly over it this afternoon, if necessary, the report said.

If the system develops into a storm, it would be named Maria. Tropical cyclones become named tropical storms when their winds exceed 39 miles per hour and become hurricanes when their winds reach more than 74 mph.

(Reporting by Antonita Devotta)