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Tropical Storm Ophelia loses some of its steam

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 1:06 AM EDT, Fri September 23, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Ophelia's winds slip to 50 mph
  • Ophelia could disintegrate during the next 48 hours
  • The storm is not currently threatening land

Miami (CNN) -- Tropical Storm Ophelia weakened late Thursday as it continued its trek across the central Atlantic, forecasters said.

The system could degenerate further during the next 48 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Ophelia had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph late Thursday night, with gusts of up to 65 mph, the center said.

The storm was about 820 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands and was moving west at 12 mph, forecasters said. The five-day forecast map shows the system staying north of the Caribbean.

"A turn toward the northwest and a slight increase in forward speed is expected on Friday," according to the hurricane center. No coastal watches or warnings are in effect.

Tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 mph extended outward up to about 260 miles from Ophelia's center, the hurricane center said.

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