Tropical Storm Kate gained strength as it cruised north and will likely turn right away from the U.S. coast today, the National Hurricane Center said.
With sustained winds of about 60 mph, the storm was located about 280 miles northeast of the northwestern Bahamas at 4 a.m. Tuesday.
Forecasters expect Kate to begin turning more toward the northeast today. Moving at about 17 mph, the storm should pick up speed Wednesday as it continues turning, steering it well clear of Florida and north of Bermuda. By Thursday, what’s left of the storm will likely be absorbed by a brewing winter-like system in the North Atlantic, hurricane center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said.
The compact storm sideswiped the central Bahamas earlier Monday — which got slammed by major Hurricane Joaquin last month.
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Forecasters warned that Kate has been triggering strong rip currents on eastern-facing beaches in the northwestern Bahamas, which should subside today.
With about three weeks left in the Atlantic hurricane season, Kate becomes this year’s 11th named storm, one more than the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted for 2015.