Tropical Storm Karen nears hurricane strength
Tropical Storm Karen gained strength on Wednesday and could soon become a hurricane in the open Atlantic, US forecasters said.
Karen, the 11th named Atlantic storm of the year, was located around 1,225 miles east of the Windward Islands on Wednesday morning and had top sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, the US National Hurricane Center said.
The storm could become a hurricane laterwith winds in excess of 74 mph, the hurricane center said, but its most likely track would take it well north of the Caribbean islands and out over open ocean, potentially toward Bermuda.
The 2007 Atlantic storm season has generated three hurricanes so far, including Hurricane Humberto, which startled coastal residents of Texas and Louisiana in mid-September by unexpectedly strengthening into a hurricane before landfall, and two ferocious maximum-strength Category 5 hurricanes.
One of the Category 5 hurricanes, Dean, swiped Jamaica and then plowed into Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The other, Felix, tore into Central America.
It was the first time since records began in 1851 that two top-ranked hurricanes on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale made landfall in the Atlantic basin in the same season, which begins June 1 and runs to the end of November.
Weather experts have forecast an above-average 16 named storms this year. Record-busting 2005 saw 28 storms form, of which 15 strengthened into hurricanes, including Hurricane Katrina, the storm that swamped New Orleans.
Source: Caribbean Net News