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Hurricane Bill 2009

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UPDATE 8/21 (1:50 PM EST) -- From The AP:

MIAMI - Hurricane Bill has weakened to a Category 2 storm over the Atlantic as it nears Bermuda on track to pass between the island and the U.S. East Coast.

Bill's maximum sustained winds had decreased to 110 mph Friday. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami say the storm's strength can still fluctuate Friday and Saturday.

Bill is centered about 290 miles south-southwest of Bermuda and about 695 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The hurricane is moving northwest near 18 mph.

UPDATE, 8/21 -- From The AP:

Hurricane Bill weakened slightly early Friday but still threatened to flood Bermuda's coastlines and generate dangerous waves and riptides along the eastern U.S. coast.

The Category 3 storm's maximum sustained winds lost a little strength to near 115 mph, from 125 mph late Thursday. Forecasters said the hurricane was becoming less organized but could still regain some strength. The storm was forecast to start gradually weakening Saturday.

Bill was expected to cause significant flooding along the Bermuda coastlines Friday and Saturday and Bermuda issued a tropical storm warning.

Along the eastern U.S. coast, waves of 20 feet and more offshore and rip currents at the beach are expected over one of the summer's last weekends. Forecasters warned boaters and swimmers from northeastern Florida to New England because of incoming swells as Bill passes far out to sea on a northward track for Canada's Maritime provinces.

Just before 8 a.m. EDT Friday, the storm was centered about 385 miles south of Bermuda, or about 820 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and was moving northwest around 17 mph.

UPDATE, 8/19 -- From The AP:

Hurricane Bill is now a Category 4 storm, gaining strength as it swirls across the Atlantic. Forecasters say the storm has maximum sustained winds near 135 mph and could still get stronger. The storm's core is expected to pass well northwest of the Leeward Islands late today or early tomorrow. Then, it could pose a threat to Bermuda. The National Hurricane Center says Bill could pass near Bermuda in three or four days -- or take a track between Bermuda and the eastern U.S. Either way, forecasters say people along the U.S. East Coast can expect wave swells and rip currents in the next few days.

UPDATE, 8/18-- From The AP:

Hurricane Bill was expected to become a major storm in the next couple of days, with winds topping 110 mph (177 kph) as it moved on a track expected to be near Bermuda by the end of the week. It had become a Category 2 storm with winds whipping at 100 mph (160 kph)

The storm is very large, with tropical winds extending out 150 miles, so Bermuda faced a potential threat even if the Atlantic island avoided a direct hit, said Nick Camizzi, a forecaster with the British territory's weather service.

"We are keeping an eye on it for sure," Camizzi said.

It was too soon to tell if Bill would threaten the eastern coast of the United States, said John Cangialosi, a meteorologist at the U.S. National Hurricane Center. It was not expected to threaten Florida.

8/16:

The National Hurricane Center told the Associated Press that Bill might become a major hurricane by the week of August 17, 2009. As of August 17, 2009 Bill was about 1,080 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and it was expected to pass northeast of Puerto Rico and possibly take aim at Bermuda. Forecasters say its winds could top 110 mph.

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