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6.11.2005

Arlene Soaks Florida, Gathering Strength



PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A strengthening Tropical Storm Arlene soaked parts of Florida as its center moved toward the northern Gulf Coast, stirring memories of last year's devastating hurricane season.

Forecasters said Arlene, the Atlantic hurricane season's first named tropical storm, could become a weak hurricane before making landfall in the Deep South late Saturday, with the worst weather arriving east of the storm's center.

Arlene was then expected to move along the Mississippi-Alabama line, possibly reaching Tennessee by Sunday afternoon.

Tropical storm warnings and hurricane watches were posted from Florida to Louisiana, as Arlene's top sustained winds reached 60 mph, up from 45 mph earlier in the day. The wind speed was likely to increase, but forecasters said the biggest impact would be heavy rain.

Article posted at Signs of the Times