Hurricane Maria Strengthens Over Atlantic
Tuesday September 6, 2005 4:46 AM
MIAMI (AP) - Hurricane Maria intensified Monday over the open Atlantic, while the 14th tropical storm of the season developed south of Bermuda, forecasters said.
Tropical Storm Nate had top sustained winds of 40 mph, and was centered about 320 miles south-southwest of Bermuda, according to the National Hurricane Center.
It was moving west near 2 mph, and forecasters expected it to continue its slow westward track over the next day.
Maria had top wind speeds at 115 mph as the system neared the cooler waters of the north Atlantic that are expected to sap its strength later in the week. At 11 p.m. EDT, it was centered 485 miles east of Bermuda and moving north-northeast at about 6 mph, well away from land.
Maria is the fifth hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season, one of the busiest on record. Historically, only about four or five named storms form by this time of year, according to the hurricane center. Peak storm activity typically occurs from the end of August through mid-September.
The season began June 1 and ends Nov. 30.
On the Net:
National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov