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Update: Hurricane Dean now a Category Four storm

Photo from NOAA

MIAMI (Reuters) - Hurricane Dean strengthened into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane on Friday as it crossed the Caribbean Sea toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico beyond it, U.S. forecasters said.

In an advisory at 8 p.m. EDT the Miami Based National Hurricane Center said Dean's top sustained winds had surpassed 130 miles per hour on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity.

Category 3 to 5 hurricanes, such as Katrina, Rita and Wilma in the devastating 2005 Atlantic storm season, are potentially the most destructive storms and are collectively referred to as "major" or "intense" by the hurricane center.


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