Tropical Storm Karen strengthens in open Atlantic; new depression in Mexico’s Gulf

Published 5:02 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2007

After looking rather anemic, Tropical Storm Karen strengthened early Wednesday in the open Atlantic Ocean, while a tropical depression swirled in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.

At 5 a.m. EDT, Karen was centered about 1,285 miles east of the Windward Islands, with top sustained winds near 50 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

It was moving toward the west near 14 mph and was expected to turn toward the west-northwest over the next 24 hours. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center.

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Meanwhile, the 13th depression of the season remained weak early Wednesday, but a tropical storm watch will likely be required for a portion of the Gulf Coast of Mexico later in the day, forecasters said.

At 5 a.m. EDT, the storm’s center was located about 205 miles east-southeast of Tampico, Mexico, and moving toward the south near 3 mph with top sustained winds near 30 mph. A slow and erratic motion is expected during the next 24 hours.

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