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Interesting News

From: Candace Smith <candace4modeling@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 13:42:45 -0700
Message-ID: <43540CC5.2F6B@yahoo.com>
To: public-ws-desc-meps@w3.org

MIAMI Oct 17, 2005 Wilma, the record-tying 21st tropical storm of the
season, formed in the Caribbean on Monday,
and forecasters warned it could become a powerful hurricane and hit
somewhere along the U.S. Gulf Coast as early as the
weekend. 

"I think the message is that the season is certainly not over. People in
the Gulf Coast are going to have to watch Wilma," said
National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield. The Atlantic hurricane
season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. 

Wilma reached tropical-storm strength before dawn, tying the 21-storm
record set in 1933. By Tuesday, it could become the
season's 12th hurricane, which would match another record: There were 12
hurricanes in 1969, the highest number since
Atlantic record-keeping started in 1851.

At 2 p.m. EDT, Wilma had sustained winds of 50 mph, up 10 mph from
earlier in the day, and was centered about 235 miles
southeast of Grand Cayman. It was drifting southward but was expected to
turn toward the west. 

A hurricane watch was issued for the Cayman Islands, meaning hurricane
conditions could be felt there within 36 hours. Up to
12 inches of rain was possible in the Caymans, Honduras and Jamaica. 

"We're on alert but we're not panicking," said Tootie Eldemire, owner of
the Eldemire Guest House on Grand Cayman. 

Some computer models had Wilma heading west to Mexico's Yucatan
Peninsula by Friday, while others showed it curving
north into the Gulf of Mexico and northeastward toward Florida late in
the weekend. However, such models typically have
large errors this far in advance. 

"There's no scenario now that takes it toward Louisiana or Mississippi,
but that could change," Mayfield said. The Gulf Coast
was already battered this year by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Dennis,
and Emily hit Mexico. 

The hurricane center said Wilma could strengthen into a major hurricane,
with winds over 110 mph. 

Mayfield noted that there have been 10 late-season hurricanes of
Category 3 or higher since 1995. 

Wilma is the last on the list of storm names for 2005; there are 21
names on the yearly list because the letters Q, U, X, Y and
Z are skipped. If any other storms form this season, the Greek alphabet
will be used, starting with Alpha. 


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Received on Monday, 17 October 2005 20:41:47 GMT

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