July 21, 2006

Tropical storm Beryl heads for Cape Cod

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Beryl, the second
cyclone of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, blew over
Nantucket island early on Friday as it headed for Cape Cod,
bringing heavy rain to the Massachusetts coast.

Beryl's sustained winds were near 50 mph (85 kph) with
higher gusts as it churned toward the coast, according to the
National Hurricane Center in Miami.

A tropical storm warning was lifted across south eastern
Massachusetts, including Cape Cod, although the storm may cause
higher tides than normal.

It is also likely to bring rainfall of about 2 inches (5
cm) to the coast and the islands of Nantucket and Martha's
Vineyard, forecasters said.

At 5 a.m. (0900 GMT), the storm system was moving northeast
at about 21 mph (33 kph), the hurricane center said.

Its likely path would take it over or near the Canadian
province of Nova Scotia by late Friday or Saturday, but it was
expected to weaken slowly and lose its tropical

Tropical storms rarely pose a threat to developed countries
but can bring torrential rain.

Forecasters expect a busy June 1-November 30 Atlantic
hurricane season this year, with up to 17 tropical storms.

Last year saw a record 28 tropical storms, 15 of which
strengthened into hurricanes with winds of at least 74 mph (119
kph). Among them was Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New
Orleans, killed more than 1,300 people and became the costliest
natural disaster in U.S. history.

The first tropical storm of the 2006 season, Alberto, came
harmlessly ashore in the Florida Panhandle on June 13.