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Michael's winds at 105 mph

Sept. 6, 2012 at 11:26 PM

MIAMI, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Hurricane Michael weakened slightly Thursday night as it rumbled slowly northward far out in the Atlantic Ocean away from land, U.S. forecasters said.

Michael had become the Atlantic's first Category 3 hurricane of the season earlier in the day, with 115 mph winds. But in its 11 p.m. EDT advisory, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm was back to Category 2 status with sustained winds throttled down to 105 mph.

Michael was so far out to sea -- about 930 miles west-southwest of the Azores and moving to the north-northeast at 5 mph -- that no coastal watches or warnings were necessary, the forecasters said.

Michael was forecast to veer to the north and north-northwest while slowing its forward progress and weakening slightly through Friday.

Michael is a fairly small storm, with hurricane-force winds extending out just 25 miles from its eye and tropical storm-force gales reaching out up to 80 miles.

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