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Otto becomes a tropical storm in Atlantic

by Staff Writers
Miami (AFP) Oct 7, 2010
A brewing Atlantic storm called Otto has been upgraded from subtropical to tropical status and could strengthen into a hurricane but poses no threat to land, US weather experts said Thursday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm, which formed Wednesday east of the Turks and Caicos Islands, has now taken on the characteristics of a tropical storm with its warm inner core extending upward to higher altitudes.

"Otto has transitioned into a tropical storm and the cyclone could become a hurricane by Friday night or Saturday," the center said.

A subtropical storm is one in which temperatures at the surface of the sea and aloft are lower than is typically the case with tropical storms.

The hurricane center said Otto was 255 miles (410 kilometers) east of Grand Turk Island, moving northeast at a speed of two miles (four kilometers) per hour with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles (95 kilometers) per hour.

The Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands could experience heavy rainfall, but the storm posed no direct threat to land and no coastal warnings or watches were in effect, it said.

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