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Irene On Pleasing Path

Tropical Storm Irene was moving on a course that could take it away from the East Coast on Sunday as it and a weakening tropical depression posed no threat to land, forecasters said.

At 11 a.m. EDT, Irene was centered about 340 miles east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., or about 310 miles west-northwest of Bermuda, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm, which had been heading northwestward toward the East Coast, was moving at 12 mph on a path that had swung toward the north-northeast, and a turn more toward the northeast was expected over the next day, meteorologists said.

Irene had maximum sustained wind blowing at 65 mph. The storm is no longer expected to grow into a hurricane.

Elsewhere, the Atlantic hurricane season's 10th tropical depression was poorly organized and appeared to be dissipating, just one day after it developed.

The depression was centered located about 1,040 miles east of the Leeward Islands, with sustained wind estimated at 30 mph. The hurricane center said it planned no more advisories on the depression unless it strengthens.

Normally, there are only two named storms by this time in the Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1 and ends Nov. 30. Irene developed a week ago, weakened to a tropical depression Monday, then regained tropical storm strength Wednesday.

Earlier this month, the National Hurricane Center revised its seasonal forecast and predicted an extremely active above-normal hurricane season for 2005, with nine to 11 hurricanes expected. The average is six per season. That would mean another seven to nine hurricanes before the season ends in November.

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