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Tropical storm develops

Tropical Storm Arlene - the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season - was churning through the northwest Caribbean Sea on Thursday morning.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | June 8, 2005

Tropical Storm Arlene - the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season - was churning through the northwest Caribbean Sea on Thursday morning.

Arlene strengthened from a tropical depression that formed Wednesday, prompting Cuba to issue storm watches and warnings.

The storm's center could reach western Cuba by Thursday evening, forecasters said. The storm, moving north at about 8 mph, was picking up speed on Thursday. It had sustained winds of about 40 mph. Emergency responders were also concerned that heavy rain in Nicaragua and Honduras could cause mudslides.

The storm is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. Tropical storms have winds of 39 mph to 74 mph. Arlene was expected to remain a tropical storm, with an outside chance of becoming a Category 1 hurricane, forecasters said.

Gulf Coast residents were warned to monitor the storm's movement. Faith-based and voluntary agencies reported they were closely monitoring the storm's progress as well.


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