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Epsilon Weakens Into Tropical Storm

December 4, 2005

MIAMI (AP) _ Epsilon weakened from a rare December hurricane into a tropical storm Sunday in the open Atlantic, where it posed no threat to land.

The 26th named storm of the record-breaking hurricane season had top sustained winds near 70 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Hurricanes have sustained winds of at least 74 mph.

At 4 a.m. EST, Epsilon was about 790 miles west-southwest of the Azores and moving east near 13 mph.

Forecasters expected the tropical storm to weaken more over the day. On Saturday, it had become the 14th hurricane of the season.

The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and officially ended on Wednesday.

Epsilon was only the fifth hurricane to form in December in more than 150 years of records, hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart said. The latest that a hurricane has formed in the Caribbean was Dec. 30, in 1954.

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On the Net:

National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

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