Gordon becomes Atlantic's third hurricane of the season

Tuesday, September 12th 2006, 11:23 am
By: News On 6

MIAMI (AP) _ Hurricane Gordon formed over the open Atlantic on Tuesday, and a new tropical depression formed off the coast of Africa, forecasters said.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence sped toward its demise into the cooler waters off Canada's maritime provinces after battering Bermuda, the National Hurricane Center said.

Gordon, with top sustained winds of 75 mph, was destined to remain over open waters and will not threaten land, forecasters said. Its winds strengthened from 65 mph earlier in the day to become the third hurricane of the Atlantic season; hurricanes have sustained winds of at least 74 mph.

At 11 p.m. EDT, Gordon was centered about 565 miles north-northeast of the Leeward Islands and moving north near 9 mph, forecasters said.

``At this point it looks like it will recurve out into the Atlantic,'' said Jamie Rhome, a hurricane specialist. ``However, people should be reminded that we are at the peak of hurricane season and they should be updated on hurricane supplies and have a hurricane plan.''

The National Hurricane Center stopped issuing advisories about Florence, which was expected to pass just southeast of Newfoundland in the next day or so. The season's second hurricane blew out windows, peeled off roofs and knocked out power to thousands in Bermuda on Monday as it sideswiped the British island chain before heading out into the Atlantic.

The eighth tropical depression of the season had top sustained winds at 35 mph and could become a tropical storm Wednesday, forecasters said. Helene is the next name on the list; sustained winds in a tropical storm are at least 39 mph.

The depression was centered 215 miles south-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde islands and moving west near 15 mph, according to the hurricane center.

The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and ends Nov. 30. The National Hurricane Center's latest forecast for the season expects between seven and nine hurricanes.