second tropical depression of the Atlantic hurricane season took
shape July 18 off Cape Hatteras, N.C., where a tropical storm watch
was posted. Meteorologists warned that the storm could become
Tropical Storm Beryl by July 19.
A tropical depression
officially becomes a tropical storm when wind speeds top 39 mph.
The threshold for a hurricane is wind speeds of 74 mph, but
officials at the National Hurricane Center in Miami were not
expecting that result from this storm.
Alberto, the first
named storm of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, visited Florida
in mid-June, dumping heavy rains but causing little in the way of
damage before chugging up the East Coast past North Carolinas Outer
The outlook for this
season, according to forecasts issued by the National Weather
Service on June 1 -- the start of the six-month hurricane season --
called for 17 named storms, nine of which were expected to become
hurricanes, and five of which would become major storms with winds
of 111 mph or higher.
Last year, there were
a record 28 named storms and 15 hurricanes, including the
destructive Katrina, Rita and Wilma storms.
contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].
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