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Hurricane Igor Strengthens Across Atlantic

Coastal Watches/Warnings and 5-Day Forecast Cone for Storm Center as of 14 Sep 2010

Coastal Watches/Warnings and 5-Day Forecast Cone for Storm Center as of 14 Sep 2010

U.S. weather forecasters say Hurricane Igor is strengthening as it moves across the Atlantic Ocean in the direction of Bermuda.

The National Hurricane Center says Igor, a Category Four storm on the five-point scale of hurricane intensity, is expected to remain a very powerful storm through Thursday. At last report, Igor had 230 kilometer per hour winds and was about 1900 kilometers southeast of the British territory. Ocean swells generated by Igor were expected to begin affecting the Leeward Islands and reach Puerto Rico by Wednesday.

Separately, forecasters are monitoring Hurricane Julia, the fifth of this year's Atlantic hurricane season.

The Category One storm was about 655 kilometers west-northwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands and had 140 kilometer per hour winds. Slow weakening was expected by Thursday.

Additionally, Tropical Storm Karl has formed over the northwest Caribbean Sea, threatening Mexico's Yucatan peninsula with heavy winds and rains.

The National Hurricane Center said Karl was about 435 kilometers east of Chetumal, Mexico, moving in a west-northwesterly direction with 65 kilometer per hour wind speeds. Tropical storm warnings or watches were posted for parts of Mexico and Belize as forecasters monitored the storm's path.

Forecasters say that on its current track, the center of the storm will move over the Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday and into the southwestern Gulf of Mexico by Thursday. Storm surges are expected to produce some coastal flooding near the area where Karl makes landfall. Heavy rains are expected over the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize and northern Guatemala.

The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and ends November 30.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.