Atlantic storms pose new threats to U.S.

Published online: Aug 31, 2010 News Trade Only Today
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As hurricane season enters its traditionally busiest period, three storms are churning in the Atlantic that have caused problems, and could cause more, for the East Coast of the United States.

Hurricane Danielle, now a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, is far east of the New England coast. Danielle is weakening and quickly losing tropical characteristics, according to this morning's report from the National Hurricane Center.

There are no coastal watches or warnings with this storm, which brought heavy surf and rip currents to the East Coast during the weekend.

Meanwhile, the hurricane center says Hurricane Earl, which is a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, is strengthening as it moves across the northern Leeward Islands and is projected to take roughly the same path as Danielle, though closer to the coast.

"It's forecast to become a Category 3 later today," hurricane center forecaster Jessica Schauer told Reuters.

"Right now it's forecast to pass off the coast of Cape Hatteras, probably within about 300 miles, but that forecast track can change," she said, acknowledging that a direct hit to North Carolina could not be ruled out.

With Earl, a hurricane warning is in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A hurricane watch is in effect for Puerto Rico.

Also, there's a 90 percent chance that a wave of tropical activity could form a tropical depression later today or tonight, the hurricane center reports. This system is now about 1,050 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

If this system reaches tropical storm strength, it would become Fiona.

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