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Tropical Storm Nicholas Gains Strength

October 17, 2003

MIAMI (AP) _ Tropical Storm Nicholas gained strength in the open Atlantic as it moved slowly toward hurricane intensity Friday, but forecasters don’t expect it to ever affect land.

Nicholas had sustained winds at midday of 70 mph _ 4 mph below the threshold for a hurricane _ an increase from 65 mph earlier Friday.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said it could become the seventh Atlantic hurricane of the season later Friday or early Saturday.

At 11 a.m. EDT, Nicholas was centered about 875 miles east of the Leeward Islands in the northeastern Caribbean and was moving to the northwest at 9 mph.

It is the 17th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

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On the Net:

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

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