Tropical Storm Bill develops in Gulf of Mexico; second named storm of hurricane season

MIAMI (AP) -- The second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season formed Sunday in the Gulf of Mexico, and storm warnings were issued from Texas to Mississippi.

Tropical Storm Bill had sustained winds of 50 mph and was centered about 260 miles south of Morgan City, La. Sunday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Tropical storm warnings were issued from High Island, Texas, to Pascagoula, Miss. Warnings mean tropical storm conditions are expected in the area, generally within 24 hours.

Some strengthening was expected but the storm was not forecast to become a hurricane before it reaches land, possibly as early as Monday, hurricane specialist Miles Lawrence said.

At 8 p.m. EDT, the storm was moving north at about 13 mph, forecasters said. Bill was expected to strengthen overnight and into Monday, said Stacy Stewart, another hurricane specialist.

The season's first tropical storm, Ana, formed in the open Atlantic in April and was a threat only to shipping. Systems become tropical storms when their sustained wind exceeds 39 mph.

The Atlantic hurricane season started June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

Bill formed just after the 46th anniversary of Hurricane Audrey, one of the most destructive June hurricanes to hit the United States. It struck the Louisiana-Texas coast on June 27, 1957, with a 13.9-foot storm tide and wind gusting to 180 mph. It killed at least 390 people and estimates run to more than 500.


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