Hurricane Kyle takes aim at New England, Canada

Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:03am EDT
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MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Kyle strengthened into a hurricane off the United States on Saturday as it took aim at New England and Canada's Maritime provinces, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Kyle, which developed as a tropical storm on Thursday, had top sustained winds near 75 mph and was forecast to make landfall near the Maine-New Brunswick border early on Monday.

Kyle was a minimal Category 1 hurricane on the five-step hurricane intensity scale. In its 11 p.m. advisory, the hurricane center said there might be slight weakening in Kyle before it hits the coast.

Kyle was 355 miles south of the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and moving north at 23 mph.

The hurricane -- spawned by the 11th named storm of a busy and destructive Atlantic hurricane season -- was forecast to dump as much as 6 inches of rain over parts of New England, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island through Monday. It was also likely to cause large and dangerous surf in some areas.

Forecasters have predicted the six-month hurricane season, which runs through November 30, could produce up to 18 cyclones. The warm sea temperatures and other factors that contribute to the formation of hurricanes are still in place.

The disturbed weather system from which Kyle developed drenched Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Caribbean island of Hispaniola before it moved north into the Atlantic.

Authorities in Puerto Rico, a U.S. island territory, said at least four people were killed and scores of homes were flooded.

Kyle was the first tropical storm to form in the Atlantic-Caribbean region since Tropical Storm Josephine on September 2.

(Reporting by Tom Brown; Editing by Vicki Allen)

<p>Tropical Storm Kyle is seen in open water of the Atlantic Ocean southeast of South Carolina in this satellite image taken on September 26, 2008. REUTERS/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Handout</p>