Tropical Storm Richard appears less likely to threaten Florida

Computer models of the track of Tropical Storm Richard as of 5 p.m., Friday, October 22, 2010.

Weather Underground

Computer models of the track of Tropical Storm Richard as of 5 p.m., Friday, October 22, 2010.

A Hurricane Hunter aircraft did not find a stronger tropical storm this morning, despite satellite presentation which looks more impressive and organized. The NHC noted that the system might be elongated, or stretched out.

Indeed, Richard may be trying to re-form a center farther south from the currently depicted position.

Regardless, the slow movement and lack of organization both point to a drastically-reduced threat to Florida than was evident just 24 hours ago.

Read NBC-2s report

A tropical storm warning and hurricane watch have been issued for the coast of Honduras as Tropical Storm Richard approaches the coast of that nation from the Caribbean.

The watch and warning issued Friday cover the area from the border with Nicaragua west to Limon. A hurricane watch was also in place for a portion of the east coast of Mexico.

Richard's maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 kph). But additional strengthening is forecast and it could become a hurricane over the weekend.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the tropical storm could dump three to five inches of rain on Honduras that could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

Richard is located about 130 miles (210 kilometers) east-northeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua-Honduras border and is moving west near 5 mph (7 kph).

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