Hurricane Dean strengthens to Category 4 Storm

Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:09PM EDT

MIAMI (Reuters) - Hurricane Dean strengthened into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane on Friday as it crossed the Caribbean Sea toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico beyond it, U.S. forecasters said.

In an advisory at 8 p.m. EDT, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said Dean's top sustained winds had surpassed 130 miles per hour (215 kph) on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity.

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