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Tropical depressionforms- and strengthens

The first tropical depression of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season formed Saturday south of Cuba.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | June 10, 2006

The first tropical depression of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season formed Saturday south of Cuba. The system could become Tropical Storm Alberto as it veers toward the United States, forecasters said.

The systemís winds must reach 39 mph for it to be classified as a tropical storm. It was located on the western tip of Cuba on Saturday, where it was expected to bring heavy rain, potential flash flooding, and a risk of mudslides.

The storm was expected to strengthen over the next 24 hours, then make landfall Monday between central and western Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters did not expect it to become a significant threat.

Storms with sustained winds of 74 mph are classified as hurricanes, and forecasters did not expect this system to become a hurricane.

Forecasters have predicted that 2006 will bring more named storms than average. The 2005 hurricane season brought 28 named storms and 15 hurricanes.


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