Tropical depression Olga gains strength, becomes tropical storm again

Sunday, December 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MIAMI (AP) _ One day after the 2001 hurricane season officially ended, tropical depression Olga strengthened and became a tropical storm again on Saturday, forecasters said.

The storm posed no threat to land, but it was expected to cause large ocean swells and dangerous surf conditions for the Bahamas through Sunday.

Florida's East Coast could also experience high swells from Olga on Sunday and Monday, said Hugh Cobb, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The storm had top winds near 40 mph and was heading northwest at about 6 mph. Tropical storms have winds from 39 mph to 73 mph.

``It's a minimal tropical storm,'' Cobb said.

Olga grew out of a rare subtropical storm far out in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this week. It later became a hurricane before weakening to tropical storm strength Thursday. Then it further weakened into a tropical depression before strengthening Saturday.

At 11 p.m. EST, Olga's center was located about 540 miles east of Nassau, Bahamas.

Olga was expected to weaken late Sunday and continue moving slowly northwest, Cobb said.

Olga was the 15th named storm and the ninth hurricane of this year's six-month Atlantic hurricane season, which ended Nov. 30.