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Philippe strengthens into hurricane in Atlantic

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:52 PM EDT, Thu October 6, 2011
A satellite image shows hurricane Philippe in the Atlantic.
A satellite image shows hurricane Philippe in the Atlantic.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Tropical Storm Jova forms in the eastern Pacific, the hurricane center reports
  • NEW: That and nearby Tropical Storm Irwin are expected to become hurricanes
  • NEW: Hurricane Philippe continues to gain strength as it spins in the Atlantic
  • None of these storms are currently considered any threat to land

(CNN) -- Philippe strengthened into a hurricane in the Atlantic on Thursday, the same day two systems in the eastern Pacific emerged as tropical storms, the National Hurricane Center reported.

None of the systems is currently considered a threat to land, and there are no coastal warnings or watches in effect because of them. Still, the number of storms shows that both oceans remain active with tropical activity into October.

A tropical storm until Thursday, Philippe attained its new status Thursday morning. It appeared to get even stronger over the course of the day and boasted sustained winds of 85 mph, according to a 5 p.m. EST update from the Miami-based center.

Hurricane-strength winds extend 25 miles from its center, while tropical storm-force winds -- measuring 39 mph or stronger -- can be felt about 85 miles out.

In its late Thursday afternoon update, the hurricane center estimated Philippe's eye was about 425 miles (685 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda. The storm was churning to the northeast at about 13 mph.

But Philippe may not be a hurricane for too long, as the center predicted in its advisory "some weakening ... during the next 48 hours." It is expected to move faster over that same stretch.

Meanwhile, two new tropical threats have emerged in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Mexico and Central America.

One is the recently named Tropical Storm Irwin, which rose Thursday from tropical depression status, the center reported.

Located about 875 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California in Mexico, this system was sporting maximum sustained winds of about 60 mph as of 5 p.m. (2 p.m. PDT) Thursday.

That marks a 50% increase in wind strength from just hours earlier. Forecasters predict Irwin will become a hurricane in the coming days.

Tropical storm-force winds extend about 70 miles from this storm's center. It is heading west-northwest at 8 mph, with an expected slowdown and turn toward the north and northwest in the coming days.

Closer to the shore is Tropical Storm Jova, which also earned that distinction Thursday as it gained strength.

On Thursday afternoon, it had steady winds of 40 mph, just slightly above what is needed to be considered a tropical storm.

As with Irwin, Jova is forecast to get stronger and could become a hurricane by Saturday, the center said.

The center of that system, which was moving northwest at 10 mph, was 495 miles south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.

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