Hurricane Helene strengthens off coast of Africa, churns in Atlantic

Tropical Storm Helene strengthened to a hurricane late Sunday night to become the fourth storm churning in the Atlantic Ocean this hurricane season — and one of three hurricanes currently heading toward the United States.

The storm is about 195 miles west-southwest of Cabo Verge, an archipelago near the African coast.

Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm is moving west-northwest at 13 mph, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. It’s expected to strengthen through Tuesday before beginning to weaken.

storms atlantic

It is not a threat to the U.S. or Caribbean at this time.

Hours later Hurricane Isaac became the fifth hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season. It’s currently 1,305 miles east of the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. It is expected to accelerate over the next 36 hours.

In the meantime, the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states are rushing to prepare for the rapidly strengthening Hurricane Florence, which appears to have set its eye on the eastern U.S. coast.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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