Hurricane Bill gathers strength enroute to Canada

August 20th, 2009 - 6:23 pm ICT by IBNS  

Hurricane Bill Aug 20 (IBNS) Hurricane Bill has emerged as a Category 4 storm over the Atlantic and is expected to increase in power as it heads toward Canada after passing between Bermuda and the east coast of the U.S.

News agencies reported that Bill has maximum sustained winds of 135 miles (217 kilometers) per hour, up from 125 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an advisory. That makes Bill a Category 4, the second- strongest on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of intensity.

A weather front moving east across the U.S. will probably keep Bill away from the country’s Eastern Seaboard, said Jim Rouiller, a senior energy meteorologist at Planalytics Inc. in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

“This is a very dangerous Category 4. The East Coast is lucky,” Rouiller said.

Bill, the first hurricane in the 2009 Atlantic season, was centered about 315 miles northeast of the Caribbean’s Leeward Islands and heading northwest at 17 mph, with a gradual turn to the northwest forecast during the next two days. It was about 880 miles south-southeast of Bermuda.

“Strengthening is possible during the next 24 hours,” the NHC’s latest advisory said.

The NHC’s five-day forecast shows Bill passing between Bermuda and the Carolinas as a major hurricane this weekend, before hitting Nova Scotia while still at hurricane strength on Aug. 24.

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