Fifth storm forms west of Windward Islands, Debby hangs out

A tropical depression has formed west of Martinique in the Windward Islands, the fifth storm of the lackluster 2006 Atlantic hurricane season but second in only a week.

The latest storm -- which forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami expect to become Tropical Storm Ernesto within the next day or so -- is on a northwest path and moving away from the Windward Islands, but still poses a rain and wind threat to interests in the region.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Debby, with top speeds of about 50 mph, continues to remain a threat only to shipping lanes and is well away from any land at this point.

Once forecast to become the first hurricane of the season -- but still only a threat to shipping interests -- Debby has lost much of her steam.

To contact's managing editor Kimberly Scholz, send e-mail to [email protected].

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