Melissa weakens to tropical depression over Atlantic

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ATLANTA, Oct 1 (Reuters) Tropical Storm Melissa weakened to a tropical depression in the eastern Atlantic Ocean far from land and was expected to weaken further, the US National Hurricane Center said.

The 13th named Atlantic storm this year poses no threat to land. Its winds decreased to 30 mph (45 kph) with higher gusts.

At 5 pm (2100 GMT) Melissa was 665 miles (1070 km) west of the Cape Verde islands and was moving west northwest at 14 mph (22 kph).

''Melissa is degenerating into a remnant low and this low is expected to weaken during the next 24 hours,'' the hurricane center said in a statement yesterday, noting the advisory would be its last on the issue.

A tropical storm has sustained winds of 39 to 73 miles per hour (63-118 kph).

The 2007 Atlantic storm season, which runs through Nov. 30, has produced four hurricanes, including Lorenzo, which crashed into Mexico's Gulf coast on Friday and killed three people.

Reuters MP VP0532

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