Hurricane Felix strengthens to Category 4

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Hurricane Felix, the sixth named storm and second hurricane this season, has strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane. As of 5:00 EDT Sunday, it is located 440 miles off the coast of Kingston, Jamaica, in the Caribbean Sea.

It has maximum sustained winds of 140 mph (225 km/h), and 165 mph (266 km/h) gusts. It is moving at approximately 20 mph (32 km/h) to the northwest, into the warmer waters of the eastern Caribbean. It is still strengthening, and expected to reach Category 5 as it continues in warm waters.

Jamaica is on storm watch, as after being hit by Hurricane Dean last month there is a possibility of more damage. It is expected however that it will be outside the main areas of affect, which will be further south. The risks are mainly torrential rain, flash flooding, mudslides, and slips.

It is likely to affect the western coastal areas of Mexico with strong winds and four to eight inches (100 mm to 130 mm) of rain when it passes through there sometime this week.