Powerful Atlantic Hurricane Forms

September 2, 2003

A powerful hurricane with the somewhat unlikely name of “Fabian” is currently roiling the waters of the mid-Atlantic. The storm, located about 335 miles (540 kms) east-northeast of Barbuda in the Northern Leeward Islands, poses no immediate danger to any land areas, but large swells can be expected as far west as Puerto Rico.

The storm, which formed off the Cape Verde Islands late last week, is a powerful one, however. The National Hurricane Center has already rated Fabian a “category 4 Hurricane” on the Saffir/Simpson Scale (the maximum is 5). It’s packing sustained winds of 140 mph (220 kph) with even stronger gusts. According to the Center “hurricane force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 kms) from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 kms) from the center.”

Fabian is moving in a westerly direction at a leisurely 12-mph (19 kph), and the NHC said it expects it to make a turn toward the west-northwest during the next 24 hours. That would mean it would probably miss the Caribbean Islands and the Florida coast, but could possibly strike the Northeastern U.S. or Bermuda, depending on the track it eventually takes.

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