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Archive for Saturday, September 23, 2006

Helene weakens into tropical storm

September 23, 2006

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— Hurricane Helene weakened Friday into a tropical storm, but would still likely create hazardous surf conditions for Bermuda, forecasters said.

Helene's top sustained winds dropped to about 70 mph, below the 74 mph threshold to be classified as a hurricane, and it was expected to gradually lose tropical characteristics, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Tropical storm force winds extended up to 345 miles from Helene's center.

Although the hurricane would not make landfall, Bermuda was expected to feel the effects through hazardous surf conditions until tonight, said Stacy Stewart, a senior hurricane specialist.

At 10 p.m. CDT, Helene was centered about 850 miles east-northeast of Bermuda and 1,305 miles west of the Azores. It was moving east-northeast near 23 mph.

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