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V.I. DEEMED SAFE FROM FABIAN

Sept. 1, 2003 –– It seems certain that Virgin Islands residents dodged the bullet with Hurricane Fabian, but meteorologist Robert Mitchell at the National Weather Service in San Juan reminded everyone not to let down their guard because hurricane season has a long way to go until it ends on Nov. 30.
The height of the season comes in mid-September, the time frame when the two most disastrous hurricanes to hit the territory in recent history paid a call. Hurricane Hugo hit Sept. 17 and 18,1989 and Hurricane Marilyn swept through on Sept. 15 and 16, 1995.
As of 11 a.m. Monday, Hurricane Fabian was centered at 18.9 north and 56.8 west. Its latitude puts it a bit north of St. Thomas' 18.3 north latitude, which is the northernmost in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
It was located 335 miles east northeast of Barbuda in the Leeward Islands. While forecasters have said for several days that it was moving west, it went just north enough to get the Virgin Islands out of the danger zone.
Mitchell said forecasters still expect Hurricane Fabian to take a west-northwest track within the next 12 to 24 hours.
He said it should pass about 280 to 300 miles northeast of the Virgin Islands on Tuesday into Wednesday.
Hurricane winds extend outward 60 miles, with tropical storm force winds reaching out 140 miles. This means that the territory should expect only rough seas. However, should Hurricane Fabian dip a bit to the south, the territory could get some sporadic showers.
The category four hurricane was packing winds of 140 mph with gusts of 165 mph. Pressure was 949 millibars or 28.01 inches. It is moving west at 11 mph.
Mitchell said there currently were no other storm systems for Virgin Islands residents to worry about.

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