Published September 28, 2007 05:35 PM

Karen may turn toward U.S. East Coast, depression forms

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Even as Tropical Storm Karen weakened over the central Atlantic on Friday, weather models showed the storm could turn westward toward Puerto Rico or the East Coast of North America over the next five days.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tropical Depression 14 formed about 210 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.

Karen, meanwhile, was about 805 miles east-northeast of the Windward Islands of Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines and Grenada at about 11 a.m. EDT, the NHC said in a report.


It was too soon to say where, if at all, either storm would make landfall.

The energy market watches for tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico because they can disrupt U.S. oil and natural gas production and refining there.

None of the weather models currently show any storm in the Gulf of Mexico over the next five days.

Commodities traders also track tropical storms because they can damage citrus crops in Florida and such crops as cotton along the Gulf Coast.

The NHC will issue another advisory on Karen and TD-14 at 5 p.m.


Karen, packing winds of 40 miles per hour, was moving west-northwest near 9 mph.

The NHC predicted Karen would weaken into a tropical depression (winds under 39 mph) within 12 hours and remain a depression over the next five days.


The depression was packing winds near 35 mph and could strengthen over the next 24 hours, the NHC said.

The NHC predicted the depression would strengthen into a tropical storm (winds of 39-73 mph) over the next 12 hours before weakening back into a depression in three days and dissipating in about five days.

The NHC will name the next tropical storm Melissa.

The depression is moving west near 7 mph.

Four out of five weather models show the depression will remain in the Atlantic Ocean over the next five days or so. Two models however show the storm turning back toward the east in a few days and one of those models show the storm reaching the northwest coast of Africa over the next several days.


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