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Hurricane Leslie Stalls Again on Slow Track to Bermuda

Sept. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Leslie was downgraded to a tropical storm as it was almost stationary in the Atlantic before moving north on a track past Bermuda.

Leslie’s path may take the storm east of Bermuda on Sept. 9, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 11 a.m. East Coast time. The system was 410 miles (660 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda with winds of 70 miles per hour. It wasn’t expected to intensify today, but may regain hurricane strength over the weekend.

East of Leslie, Hurricane Michael crept northwest with 105 mph winds, the NHC said in a separate advisory. Forecasts show the system may drop to tropical storm status over colder waters early next week, and its winds may merge with Leslie’s near or east of Newfoundland.

Leslie had been a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, but weakened when it stalled and began churning up colder water from deeper in the ocean, Dan Kottlowski, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania, said in a phone interview.

“It’s like someone took a plunger and started plunging water in the bathtub,” Kottlowski said.

The storm’s current track would take it east of Bermuda on Sept. 9, stirring high surf there and on the U.S. East Coast, and then toward Newfoundland next week. It was forecast to weaken into a tropical storm again before reaching the Canadian province.

Newfoundland was hit in 2010 by Hurricane Igor, which followed a similar path. Winds of 105 mph were recorded with as much as 9.4 inches of rain washing out roads.

Canada Waits

The Fire and Emergency Services of Newfoundland and Labrador said it’s monitoring Leslie’s track.

North Atlantic Refining Ltd. has a 115,000 barrel-a-day refinery in Come-By-Chance, Newfoundland, 90 miles west of the provincial capital of St. John’s.

The Miami-based NHC is also tracking a remnant of Hurricane Isaac that re-entered the Gulf of Mexico and has a 20 percent chance of becoming a tropical system within two days.

Thirteen named storms have formed in the Atlantic so far this hurricane season, one more than the 30-year average.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at; Rupert Rowling in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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