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Fabian now less likely to hit Florida coast

By Associated Press
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 3, 2003

MIAMI - Hurricane Fabian forged across the Atlantic Ocean with powerful winds Tuesday on a curving course expected to take it north of the northeastern Caribbean islands but eventually threatening Bermuda.

Forecasters expect the storm to turn even more to the northwest by Wednesday.

"That would make it a bit less likely to hit Florida," said Jack Beven, hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. "We do anticipate that the hurricane will turn away and miss the U.S."

Beven said Fabian poses the largest threat to Bermuda, more than 800 miles to the north.

The hurricane's center at 5 p.m. was about 210 miles north-northeast of Barbuda in the Northern Leeward Islands, latitude 20.7 N, longitude 61.1 W. Fabian was carrying maximum sustained winds of 140 mph, making the storm a dangerous Category 4 hurricane. The storm's sustained winds dropped slightly from 145 mph overnight. It was moving west-northwest near 10 mph.

TROPICAL STORM JIMENA: Jimena continued weakening Tuesday in the open Pacific after striking the Hawaiian Islands a glancing blow with rough surf and heavy rain. The storm's highest sustained wind slowed to 45 mph early Tuesday, down from 85 mph on Sunday.

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