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Tropical storm called 'fluke'due to early appearance

An uncommonly early tropical storm lost strength Thursday.

BY SUSAN KIM | MIAMI | April 24, 2003

Tropical Storm Ana lost strength Thursday after making an uncommonly early arrival more than a month before the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane experts called the storm "a fluke."

Ana is the first tropical storm in April since 1871.

The storm was upgraded from a subtropical storm Tuesday, said James Franklin at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Ana hovered southeast of Bermuda Tuesday, and disaster response groups, including Church World Service and the United Methodist Committee on Relief, monitored the storm.

Hurricane predictors have forecast a busier than normal hurricane season. But Franklin said Ana's early appearance did not necessarily indicate that prediction would come true. "It's a fluke event. I wouldn't read anything into it," he said.

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