Hurricane Earl May Threaten U.S. By Friday - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Hurricane Earl May Threaten U.S. By Friday

Miami, Florida (CNN) -  After dealing a glancing blow to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Hurricane Earl was heading back out into the open Atlantic Tuesday, but forecasters warned the large and dangerous storm could have the Carolinas in its sights later this week.

Earl quickly developed into a Category 4 storm on Monday, packing winds of 135 mph (215 kph). It also grew large, with hurricane-force winds stretching 70 miles (110 km) from its center and tropical storm-force winds extending outward some 200 miles (325 kilometers).

"We don't expect it to weaken," CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano said Tuesday. "It may strengthen."

As of 9 a.m. ET, the center of Earl was about 200 miles (325 kilometers) north-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and about 230 miles (370 kilometers) east-southeast of Grand Turk Island. It was heading west-northwest at about 13 mph (20 kph).

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