Tropical Storm Irene to intensify, may hit U.S. coast

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Tropical Storm Irene on August 11, 2005 at 16:15 UTC

Tropical Storm Irene will increase in strength over the next several days, possibly developing into a hurricane that will hit the east coast of the United States, said the National Hurricane Center of Miami, Florida in a report today.

Irene was located approximately 975 kilometers south-southeast of Bermuda at 16:00 UTC today. Forecasters say that the storm is now moving in a west-northwest direction with top sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.

Commenting on Irene's potential impact on the United States, James Franklin of the National Hurricane Center said, "It certainly doesn't look like the main threat is Florida, but stranger things have happened. ... It may well turn sharply enough (to the north) to not make landfall."

Irene is the ninth named storm in this year's Atlantic hurricane season. The average number of storms named by this point in the season is only two.

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