Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Storm Ike forms, seen growing into hurricane

MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Ike, the ninth of a busy Atlantic hurricane season, formed on Monday midway between Africa and the Caribbean and was expected to grow rapidly into a hurricane that could threaten the United States or the Caribbean.

Ike was churning across the Atlantic on the heels of Hurricane Gustav, which pounded New Orleans on Monday as it came ashore on the U.S. Gulf Coast, and Hurricane Hanna, which strengthened as it neared the south-eastern Bahamas islands.

The peak of the six-month Atlantic hurricane season usually occurs around September 10, and an average season spawns 10 tropical storms. Six of those strengthen into hurricanes.

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