Tropical Storm Debby became less organized off the coast of the Cape Verde islands in the eastern Atlantic Wednesday, and posed no immediate threat to land, forecasters said.

At 5 p.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 610 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde islands, which are about 350 miles off the African coast. It was moving toward the northwest near 20 mph, and this general direction was expected to continue for the next day, the National Hurricane Center said.

There are hopeful signs that that storm will stay out at sea and not reach the U.S., senior hurricane specialist James Franklin said.

The storm had top sustained winds near 45 mph, up 5 mph from Monday, with slow strengthening forecast for the next day.

"We are forecasting it to become a hurricane in about four days, but we do see some factors that could prevent that," senior hurricane specialist Richard Pasch said.

It is the fourth named storm of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season.

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