Tropical Storm Cristobal to move north away from the Bahamas

This NOAA satellite image taken Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014 at 01:45 AM EDT shows scattered showers and thunderstorms affecting areas from Iowa, through the Lower Ohio Valley and into the Carolinas. Most of the South and Southeast were clear under the influence of a strong high pressure ridge. Areas of cloudiness were lingering over the Northeast in association with a weakening low pressure system. Meanwhile, widespread showers and thunderstorms were found with a low pressure system just north of Hispaniola that is likely to become Tropical Storm Cristobal on Saturday. AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND

MIAMI – Tropical Storm Cristobal is expected to move northward away from the Bahamas.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds early Monday are near 85 kph. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says gradual strengthening is expected and Cristobal could become a hurricane in the next few days.

Cristobal is centred about 180 kilometres east-northeast of San Salvador and is moving north near 6 kph. The storm’s forecast track shows it staying away from the U.S. East Coast.

Meanwhile in the Pacific, Hurricane Marie is moving west-northwest as a major Category 4 storm. Marie’s maximum sustained winds are near 230 kph with general weakening expected to begin Monday night. Marie is centred about 750 kilometres southwest of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.

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