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Is it really good-bye for Kyle?

kyle
Satellite image of Tropical Storm Kyle taken at 1:40 p.m. EDT Saturday.

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MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- The storm that just wouldn't quit seemed destined for absorption into a larger weather system Saturday, writing a final farewell to a tropical cyclone that baffled and surprised hurricane forecasters for more than three weeks.

Kyle, which reached tropical storm strength for the fifth time in its long life earlier Saturday, was barreling to the northeast at 23 mph at 11 a.m. EDT Saturday, far from land at about 320 miles south-southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts. The storm's top sustained winds are hovering at 45 mph.

The National Hurricane Center said that Kyle could still create dangerous surf conditions and rip tides on the U.S. East Coast from Delmarva Peninsula east of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, north to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Hurricane specialist Lixion Avila said Kyle was "rapidly becoming extratropical" and the center is discontinuing public advisories on the storm.

But the stubborn storm has defied forecasters since September 20, when it made the weather maps as a subtropical storm far east of Bermuda and reached tropical storm strength two days later when it blew over warmer waters. On September 25, Kyle reached hurricane strength, only to drop back down to a tropical storm on September 28.

The storm spent the next week wandering this way and that, strengthening and weakening, and keeping forecasters guessing about both its direction and its intensity.

Finally, late Sunday, Kyle -- then a tropical storm -- shifted slightly to the southwest, hesitated for two days, then took aim for Cape Canaveral, Florida.

But Kyle's sustained wind speeds dropped, slipping the storm back to a tropical depression. After a northward turn Thursday, Kyle regained tropical storm strength and hugged the coast as it headed north, never making landfall despite predictions that it would eventually cross over the Carolinas.

Over and over Kyle has bested the forecasters, but by late Saturday morning it appeared that the storm would indeed be absorbed into a larger non-tropical system and eventually wink out of existence not far from the spot east of Bermuda where it began.

At least that was the forecast.

"I hope there will be no more surprises," Avila said.



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