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Gonzalo becomes year's sixth hurricane

Hurricane Gonzalo formed Monday afternoon, the sixth hurricane of an otherwise remarkably quiet Atlantic season.
Hurricane Gonzalo formed Monday afternoon, the sixth hurricane of an otherwise remarkably quiet Atlantic season. (National Hurricane Center)

A tropical cyclone named Gonzalo became the year's sixth hurricane as it moved through the Virgin Island on Monday afternoon.

The storm was about 20 miles southeast of St. Martin with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph as of Monday afternoon, and hurricane warnings were issued for the British Virgin Islands as it moved to the northwest.

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It was expected to strengthen into a major hurricane, with winds of at least 110 mph, by Wednesday, but is not forecast to be over land at that time. After brushing the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Gonzalo is forecast to turn to the northeast and head toward Bermuda, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Six hurricanes is about average for any given Atlantic hurricane season, but in this case is the most hurricanes in two years.

But this season has meanwhile been remarkably quiet with only seven named storms, the fewest since 1994. Hurricane Fay formed and faded quickly over the weekend, and did not affect land.

Storm tallies could still grow, though, as hurricane season ends Nov. 30.

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