Tropical storm Alex has strengthened into a fully blown hurricane and is swirling across the Gulf of Mexico.
Winds of up to 120 kilometres per hour are hampering the vital oil spill clean up operation off the Louisiana coast.
Although not likely to hit the exact location of the leaking BP well, the conditions have forced boats back into port and have turned away many of those fighting the pollution.
Rough seas are sure to render the protective booms useless and bring the gushing crude towards the US coastline at a faster rate.
Northeastern Mexico has already been drenched by over 30 centimetres of rain, swelling rivers and causing widespread flooding.
At least 14 people are reported dead in weather related incidents.
Hurricane Alex is due to make landfall near the Texas-Mexico border later today.
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