Tropical Storms Fred & Linda

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Tropical Storm Fred has strengthened today and as of 11 am ET top winds were near 115kmh. Fred is located southwest of the Cape Verde Islands in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean. It is moving west at 30km/h and additional strengthening is likely.

Fred has the potential to become a hurricane later today or Wednesday.

Fred is not expected to threaten any land masses.

What's happening in the tropics?

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The Atlantic Hurricane season was late to form then quickly burst in to life...but almost as fast as it began, it seems to have abruptly stopped.

For several days now lows have been forming off the coast of Africa but have fizzled completely before turning into a tropical storm.  

Hurricane Jimena approaches Mexico

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Tonight NZT Hurricane Jimena was located west-northwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Maximum sustained winds have lowered to near 180km/h, which is still very strong, making Jimena a low-end category 3 hurricane. Jimena should continue to gradually as it interacts with land and with cooler waters off the western Baja coast.

Storms on both sides of North America

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Tropical Storm ERIKA...

Tropical Storm Erika formed in the Atlantic late on Tuesday. Erika is centered east of the northern Leeward Islands. Maximum sustained winds are 80km/h and has become nearly stationary. It should resume a WNW movement later tonight. Tropical storm watches have been issued for the northern Leeward Islands. Residents of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will have to watch this system carefully. Even if Erika remains a tropical storm, it could be capable of producing heavy rain and widespread flooding.

Hurricane Bill nears USA & Canada - clears Bermuda

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Hurricane Bill is accelerating north, well off the Eastern U.S. coast, and is still expected to turn northeast overnight. Bill made its closest pass to Bermuda overnightearly and will pass by Cape Cod tonight NZT - then race toward Nova Scotia, Canada, by early Monday morning.

Animals: Can they tell us a story?

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Can animals predict the weather? Some people believe they can and here are a few examples...

In the USA, a groundhog is still used to predict the weather for up to six weeks in advance. If you see the groundhog's shadow at noon on the 2nd of February, (Groundhog's Day) then the weather will be cold and wintry for another six weeks.

Bermuda waits for Bill; Waves 11 metres high predicted

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Hurricane Bill continues to have winds of 170km winds, and it remains a category 2 storm.

Bill continues moving over very warm waters and remains a dangerous hurricane. Minor strengthening is still possible.

Hurricane Bill - Bermuda on hurricane watch

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Hurricane Bill has strengthened a little this morning after slightly weakening overnight.  Winds near the centre remain at 205km/h. This makes Bill a category 3 hurricane.

Bill will continue moving over warm waters, and therefore could return to category 4 status.

Big Bad Bill

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Hurricane Bill remains Category 4 status this afternoon with warnings now appearing for the eastern United States for dangerous seas and rips which may affect holidaymakers enjoying mid-summer heat at the beach.

Flights to Antarctica resume

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The first flight to Antarctica for six months will depart from Christchurch today.

Following three months of darkness and half a year in isolation, the arrival of spring means the flights can resume to the icy continent.

A US Air Force C-17 Globemaster is being used for the mission.