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Tropical Storm Matures Into Hurricane

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Tropical Storm Claudette strengthened Friday into the second hurricane of the Atlantic season, weather officials said.

The storm, described by forecasters as a “small but intense hurricane,” was located about 475 miles southeast of Bermuda Friday evening.

It was heading west-northwest at about 10 m.p.h., with hurricane force winds extending outwards up to 25 miles from the center.

Claudette should temporarily stay on a westerly course, then curve north and get stronger, the National Hurricane Center in Coral Gables said.

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“It’s expected to drift west and then turn northwest over the next two days and it’s expected to strengthen,” forecaster Jim Lushine said.

The hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 115 m.p.h., shouldn’t reach Bermuda until at least Sunday and was “at least five days away from any U.S. land,” Lushine said.

It may never reach the United States, he said.

On Aug. 19, Hurricane Bob tore up the East Coast, causing $780 million in damage and killing at least 16 people.

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The only other major storm of the season, Tropical Storm Ana, died in the north Atlantic in July.

Tropical storms become hurricanes when sustained winds reach 74 m.p.h. The Atlantic season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.


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