Cristobal forecast to stay off U.S. shore

This NOAA satellite image taken Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014 at 10:45 AM EDT shows Tropical Storm Cristobal moving northward across the Bahamas, as a dense area of clouds with heavy rain and gusty winds. A band 0f clouds present across Bermuda to the Southeast US is associated with a frontal boundary. More scattered clouds are present across Hispaniola and eastern Cuba into the eastern Caribbean Basin. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Cristobal is expected to move northward away from the Bahamas. Hurricane Guide

The storm’s maximum sustained winds early Monday are near 50 mph (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 centered about 110 miles (180 kilometers) east-northeast of San Salvador and is moving north near 3 mph (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 145 mph (230 kph) with general weakening expected to begin Monday night. Marie is centered about 465 miles (750 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.

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