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Atlantic storm bulks up as second unravels

The Atlantic's latest tropical storm is likely to strengthen soon into a short-lived hurricane while staying far from land, U.S. hurricane foresters said on Sunday.
/ Source: Reuters

The Atlantic's latest tropical storm is likely to strengthen soon into a short-lived hurricane while staying far from land, U.S. hurricane foresters said on Sunday.

Tropical Storm Philippe, the 16th named storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, came to life on Saturday and strengthened on Sunday but was unlikely to constitute a threat to the densely populated U.S. coast or energy interests in the Gulf of Mexico.

Philippe Sunday was about 500 miles west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands, moving west-northwest at 12 miles per hour, while producing top sustained winds of 60 mph, up a third from earlier readings, according to the Miami-based hurricane center.

"Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Philippe is expected to approach hurricane strength by late Monday," the forecasters said in a 5 p.m EDT advisory.

Separately, the hurricane forecasters said an earlier tropical storm called Ophelia weakened sharply and is now considered a post-tropical cyclone east of the Caribbean,

"Ophelia has degenerated into a remnant low," the forecasters said of Ophelia, which had never threatened land or energy facilities. "The system is expected to weaken and to dissipate in a day or so."