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Hurricane Stories

Melissa now a tropical storm in north Atlantic
MIAMI (AP) -- Tropical Storm Melissa is racing over the north Atlantic and poses no land threat.

The storm's maximum sustained winds Wednesday afternoon are near 50 mph (85 kph) with little change in strength expected during the next day. But the storm is expected to begin losing tropical characteristics after that.

Melissa is centered about 980 miles (1,575 kilometers) west of the Azores and is moving east-northeast near 30 mph (48 kph).

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Subtropical Storm Melissa gets a little stronger
MIAMI (AP) -- Subtropical Storm Melissa has gained a little strength as it swirls over the central Atlantic.

The storm's maximum sustained winds early Tuesday are near 65 mph (100 kph). Additional strengthening is expected and the U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm could transition to a tropical storm later in the day or overnight.

Melissa is centered about 595 miles (960 kilometers) east of Bermuda and is moving north near 10 mph (17 kph).

The National Hurricane Center says large swells from the storm will continue affecting parts of the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the southeastern Bahamas. The swells can bring life-threatening surf and rip currents.

Tropical Storm Priscilla forms near TS Octave
MIAMI (AP) -- Another tropical storm, Priscilla, has formed in the eastern Pacific south of Tropical Storm Octave, which is approaching Mexico.

Priscilla's maximum sustained winds early Monday are near 40 mph (65 kph) with some strengthening expected.

Priscilla is centered about 705 miles (1,135 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California and is moving north-northeast near 12 mph (19 kph).

Meanwhile, farther north, Tropical Storm Octave is maintaining its strength with maximum sustained winds near 65 mph (100 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to weaken and become a tropical depression Tuesday by the time it nears Baja California.

Octave is centered about 245 miles (390 kilometers) south-southwest of Cabo San Lazaro, Mexico, and is moving north-northwest near 14 mph (22 kph).

Storm system Karen dissipates off Gulf Coast
By JANET McCONNAUGHEY and STACEY PLAISANCE
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- After days of slowing moving toward the Gulf Coast, the storm system Karen has dissipated.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says that as of Sunday morning, only remnants of Karen remain, and are moving eastward off the coast about 13 mph. Forecasters expect what remains of what had been a tropical storm to continue moving generally east over the next day to two days. Maximum sustained winds remain near 30 mph, with higher gusts, and forecasters say localized coastal flooding could still occur along portions of the coast. Rain accumulations of 1 to 3 inches are expected.

Earlier Sunday, much of the Gulf Coast began calling off preparations and evacuations as Karen weakened and stalled.

Karen threatens US during quiet hurricane season
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN and KEVIN McGILL
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Though weakening slightly, Tropical Storm Karen remains poised to become the first named storm to hit the U.S. in what has been a relatively quiet hurricane season.

National Hurricane Center forecasters expect Karen to be near the central Gulf Coast on Saturday, likely as a weak hurricane or tropical storm.

Karen is about 250 miles (405 kilometers) south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and 290 miles (465 kilometers) south-southeast of Morgan City, La. It's moving north-northwest at 10 mph (17 kph). Maximum sustained winds are 50 mph (85 kph).

A hurricane watch is in effect for Grand Isle, La., to west of Destin, Fla. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Morgan City, La., to the mouth of the Pearl River.

Karen is expected to produce rainfall of 3 to 6 inches through Sunday night, with isolated totals up to 10 inches possible.

Coastal residents prepare for Tropical Storm Karen
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Preparations are underway along the central Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Karen threatens to become the first named tropical system to menace the United States this year.

Hurricane and tropical storm watches are posted from southeast Louisiana to Florida. And some oil and gas platforms in the projected path of the storm are being secured and evacuated.

The storm is still more than 400 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Its top sustained winds are 65 miles an hour.

Forecasters say it could be at or near hurricane strength by tomorrow. They say it's too soon to predict how strong it will ultimately be, but that it could weaken a bit as it approaches the coast over the weekend.

One meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center says it should be "right around the border of a hurricane and a tropical storm."

A cold front approaching from the northwest is expected to turn the storm to the northeast, away from the Louisiana coast and more toward the Florida Panhandle or coastal Alabama. But the timing of the front's arrival over the weekend is uncertain.

The mayor of Grand Isle, Louisiana, a barrier community about 60 miles south of New Orleans, says the town is making sure its 10 pump stations are ready. Residents are monitoring the storm and hoping to dodge the foul weather.

Tropical Storm Karen forms in the Gulf of Mexico
MIAMI (AP) -- Tropical Storm Karen has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, and a hurricane watch is in effect along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says the late-season storm formed Thursday morning. It was about 500 miles (805 km) south of the mouth of the Mississippi River and already had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph).

The hurricane watch was in effect from Grand Isle, La., to Indian Pass in the Florida Panhandle. A tropical storm watch also was in effect for parts of the Louisiana coast west of Grand Isle, including the metro New Orleans area and Lake Pontchartrain.

Karen was moving north-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph). It could be at or near hurricane strength by Friday.


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