Tropical Storm Jose forms near Bermuda: NHC

Tropical Storm Jose forms near Bermuda: NHC

MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Jose formed near Bermuda on Sunday, becoming the 10th named storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, U.S. forecasters said.

At 11 a.m. EDT, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Jose was 75 miles southwest of Bermuda and moving northward over the central Atlantic Ocean. It posed no threat to the U.S. coast or to energy interests in the Gulf of Mexico.

The storm was packing top sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and little change in strength was expected over the next 24 hours, the hurricane center said.

It said tropical storm conditions were expected on Bermuda, where Jose could dump up to 3 inches of rain. But the storm was forecast to lose strength on Monday before dissipating as it takes a projected north-northeast track further out to sea.

Jose formed near the British territory as Hurricane Irene, the first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season, closed in on New York City after churning its way up the U.S. East Coast from North Carolina, where it made landfall on Saturday.

Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday morning as it pelted the New York region with driving winds and rain.

Weather watchers were also keeping an eye on Sunday on a cluster of showers and thunderstorms associated with a tropical wave a few hundred miles (km) south-southwest of the Cape Verde islands off West Africa.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said the system had a "medium chance" of becoming a tropical cyclone within 48 hours. If it becomes a tropical storm, the system will be named Katia.

(Reporting by Tom Brown; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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