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Storm weakens, still tracking off coast
ts noel tues

Tropical Storm Noel weakened a little this morning over Cuba, according to the National Hurricane Center.

And if the storm follows the track the center is forecasting, it will not affect the United States.

At 11 this morning, the government of the Bahamas discontinued the Hurricane Watch for the northwestern islands, but the tropical storm warning remains in effect for the central and northwestern Bahamas. A storm warning also remains in effect for parts of Cuba, including Guantanamo.

The Miami-based center also encouraged people along the Southeast coast to monitor the storm’s progress, saying a watch could be issued for the southeastern part of Florida later today.

At 11, the center of the storm was near latitude 21.1 north and longitude 77.4 west, about 40 miles east-southeast of Camaguey, Cuba, and 270 miles south of Nassau, Bahamas.

Noel is moving west at about 12 mph. The center says it expects a gradual turn to the northwest in the next 24 hours. On that track, the center of Noel is expected to remain inland over Cuba today and tonight, emerging off the north coast by Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend out 175 miles, mainly to the east of the center of the storm. Little change in strength is forecast in the next day.

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