Philippe picks up strength in Atlantic

By the Associated Press | October 6, 2011 | 5:10 AM EDT

MIAMI (AP) — Forecasters say Tropical Storm Philippe has picked up strength in the far Atlantic and is close to becoming a hurricane, but it's not expected to threaten land.

The storm's center was located Thursday about 455 miles (735 km) southeast of Bermuda and was moving north-northeast at 8 mph (13 kph).

Its maximum sustained winds were 70 mph (110 kph) and Philippe is expected to become a hurricane later Thursday before slowly weakening starting Friday. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 85 miles (140 km) from the center.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.