Tropical storm strengthens

Tropical Storm Claudette could become a hurricane as early as Thursday, according to reports from the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | July 8, 2003


Tropical Storm Claudette could become a hurricane as early as Thursday, according to reports from the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

By Tuesday night it was churning west at 25 mph toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula after forming over the Caribbean Sea. Its outer bands were already spreading thunderstorms packing up to six inches of rain across the Caribbean.

Tropical storm-force winds were detected 70 miles from the storm's center.

Jamaica issued a tropical storm warning Tuesday night, and the Cayman Islands posted a tropical storm watch. Areas in the southern Caribbean waters issued gale warnings. Small craft advisories were posted for all coastal waters.

Claudette became a named tropical storm Tuesday afternoon. If it continues its westward track, it could reach the Yucatan Peninsula by Thursday afternoon. And if Claudette's winds surpass 74 mph, the storm will become a hurricane.

Claudette is the third tropical storm to form in the Atlantic basin this hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.


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