Claims News Service, Sept. 14, 11:10 a.m. EST — Guy Carpenter, a global risk and reinsurance specialist and a part of the Marsh & McLennan Companies, is reporting that Tropical Storm Helene became the eighth named storm of the 2006 hurricane season in the North Atlantic when it developed last yesterday evening. The storm is located in the mid-Atlantic and packs sustained winds of around 40 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Helene is traveling in a westerly direction and a gradual turn toward the west-northwest is expected during the next 24 hours. Tropical storm-force winds extend 85 miles from the center of the storm.

The NHC said Helene is expected to strengthen over the next few days and possibly become a Category 1 hurricane by Saturday. Further intensification is expected thereafter. The long-term forecast for Helene has the storm continuing its track across the Atlantic while strengthening into a Category 2 hurricane. The NHC said Helene is not expected to hit any land areas in the next five days and it is too soon to determine its path beyond the forecast period.

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