Tropical storm forms near Bermuda

MIAMI Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:48pm EDT

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MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Jose formed near Bermuda on Sunday, becoming the 10th named storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, U.S. forecasters said.

At 2 p.m. EDT, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Jose was 60 miles west of Bermuda and churning northward over the central Atlantic Ocean. It posed no threat to the U.S. coast or to energy interests in the Gulf of Mexico.

The storm was packing top sustained winds of 40 mph and little change in strength was expected over the next 24 hours, the hurricane center said.

It said stiff winds were buffeting Bermuda, where Jose was expected to dump up to 3 inches of rain. But the storm was forecast to lose strength on Monday before dissipating as it takes a projected north-northeast track further out to sea.

Jose formed near the British territory on Sunday morning as Hurricane Irene, the first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season, hit New York after swirling up the U.S. East Coast from North Carolina, where it made landfall on Saturday.

Irene has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Weather watchers were also keeping an eye on Sunday on a cluster of showers and thunderstorms associated with a tropical wave south of Cape Verde off West Africa.

In an updated forecast on Sunday afternoon, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said the system had a "high chance" of becoming a tropical cyclone within 48 hours. If the system becomes a tropical storm it will be named Katia.

(Reporting by Tom Brown; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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