September 27, 2008 / 9:09 PM / 9 years ago

Hurricane Kyle takes aim at Maine and Canada

MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Kyle strengthened into a hurricane off the east coast of the United States on Saturday as it churned on a path toward Maine and Canada’s Maritime provinces, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

<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>

Kyle, which developed as a tropical storm 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 and some additional strengthening was possible, the Miami-based hurricane center said.

At 5 p.m., Kyle was about 485 miles south of the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and moving north at 23 mph.

The hurricane was spawned by the 11th named storm of a busy and destructive Atlantic hurricane season.

Forecasters have predicted the six-month season, which runs through November 30, could produce up to 18 cyclones, and the warm sea temperatures, low wind shear 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 Peter Cooney

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