New storm leads off peak months for Atlantic Hurricane Season

Perhaps as a precursor to what traditionally has been a very active hurricane month in the Caribbean and Atlantic, Tropical Storm Chris reared its head Aug. 1 and eyed the northern Leeward Islands from Antigua north to Anguilla.

Chris, the third named storm of the 2006 Atlantic Hurricane Season, had winds nearing 60 mph, up from 40 mph earlier on Aug. 1.

Tropical storm warnings and watches were posted throughout the area for the next 24 hours. The center of the storm was expected to move near or over the northern Leeward Islands early on Aug. 2.

In advance of the storm, oil prices climbed Aug. 1 as energy traders feared that Chris could further strengthen and possibly damage oil platforms and refineries along the Gulf of Mexico coast.

"We are moving into a very strong seasonal trend" for energy prices to move higher, according to commodities analyst Mike Guido with Societe Generale.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Gay Nagle Myers at [email protected].

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