Hurricane Chris weakens further; Alberto strengthening

MIAMI - Hurricane Alberto, the longest-lived August tropical storm on record, intensified Saturday as it spun over the open Atlantic with maximum winds of 110 mph.

Chris, the third named storm of the hurricane season, weakened and its winds dropped to 30 mph as it continued its northwesterly course. Its remnants were 225 miles northwest of the Caribbean island of Antigua and not expected to threaten any islands during the weekend, forecasters said.

''We don't foresee an immediate intensification,'' said Lixion Avila, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. ''There's a possibility the wave could regenerate, but we don't see that happening any time soon.''

Alberto was about 1,070 miles west of the Azores islands, west of Portugal. It was moving north at about 7 mph. Alberto formed Aug. 4. It hasn't posed a threat to land.

Since hurricane record keeping began in 1900, Hurricane Felix was the longest-lived August storm, surviving 14 days in 1995. The longest-lived Atlantic storm on record is Hurricane Ginger, which kept its name for 21 days in September 1971.

It may be Monday before forecasters can tell whether Chris' remnants could redevelop into a tropical storm and pose any threat to the continental United States.

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On the Net:

National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

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