Forecasters keep eye on Hurricane Frances in the Caribbean
MIAMI (AP) -- Hurricane Frances grew stronger today in the Atlantic, but was not expected to threaten land in the near future.
Frances had maximum sustained winds near 90 mph and was expected to get stronger over the day, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
At 5 a.m EDT, the hurricane was centered about 865 miles east of the Lesser Antilles in the southeastern Caribbean and was moving west-northwest near 14 mph, forecasters said.
"It appears now that it's going to pass well north of the islands," said Lixion Avila, a hurricane specialist. But he said residents in the Caribbean should monitor the hurricane, because the long-term forecast could change.
Frances is the sixth named storm of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.