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Hurricane Plane to Check Tropical System as Pace Quickens

The seventh tropical depression of the Atlantic hurricane season picked up speed as it churned west toward the Windward Islands, prompting the U.S. to send a hurricane reconnaissance aircraft today to investigate.

Tropical storm watches were issued for Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Vincent warning about the system 235 miles (380 kilometers) east-northeast of Barbados. The storm, moving at 24 miles per hour, has sustained 35 mph winds, the National Hurricane Center said.

A tropical storm watch means at least 39 mph winds may strike the resort islands. After passing the Windwards and probably growing into a tropical storm, the system is forecast to dissipate in 48 hours due to unfavorable upper-level winds, the Miami-based NHC said in a 5 a.m. Atlantic time advisory.

A system off southern Mexico’s Pacific coast that’s partially associated with the remnants of the former Atlantic Hurricane Ernesto is given a 90 percent chance of re-forming into a tropical depression this weekend, the NHC also said.

Tropical Storm Gilma’s winds weakened to 45 mph from 60 mph about 675 miles from the tip of Baja California, the center said as well today. It’s no theat to land.

Forecasters are also tracking another potential storm in the Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands that has a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within two days.

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