MIAMI Hurricane Bill, the first hurricane of the 2009 Atlantic season, strengthened into a Category 3 storm on Tuesday with top winds near 125 miles per hour (205 km per hour), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
Hurricanes of Category 3 or higher on the five-step Saffir-Simpson intensity scale are considered "major" and are the most destructive type.
Bill was moving through the Atlantic on a path that would take it west of Bermuda by the weekend. It looked likely to miss the U.S. East Coast and posed no threat to oil-producing areas in the Gulf of Mexico.
(Reporting by Chris Wilson)