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Tropical Storm Karen takes aim at Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands while Tropical Depression 13 forms

Tropical Storm Karen formed Sunday morning and is projected to threaten Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while Tropical Depression 13 formed late Sunday off the coast of Africa.

As of 5 a.m. Monday, the National Hurricane Center reported Tropical Storm Karen had sustained winds of 40 mph and was moving northwest at 8 mph about 290 miles south-southeast of St. Croix.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra and a tropical storm watch has been issued for the British Virgin Islands as the storm ventures farther into the Southern Caribbean Sea.

The storm turned northwest overnight and is projected to shift north by Tuesday targeting Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and then emerge back into the Atlantic by Wednesday.

It’s long-term path, though, has uncertainty with some computer forecast models showing it could become begin heading west toward Florida after five days. Its intensity in five days is also expected to grow as it hits warm waters north of Puerto Rico, but still well east of the Bahamas with projected 70 mph winds by Saturday.

“Karen is forecast to emerge over the southwestern Atlantic near 48 hours and then slow down significantly and possibly even stall or loop several hundred nautical miles north of Puerto Rico on days 4 and 5 as a large ridge builds to the north of the cyclone,” reads the storm discussion from the NHC.

The storm is not expected to grow in strength in the next two days, and current tropical-storm-force winds extend outward 105 miles.

The storm brought 3 to 6 inches of rain with isolated areas of 8 inches to the Windward Islands on Sunday and is projected to bring 2 to 4 inches with some pockets of 6 inches of rain in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, threatening flash floods and mudslides in mountainous areas, the NHC said.

Farther west, a tropical wave that moved off the African coast in the Atlantic became the 13th tropical depression of the season late Sunday,

As of 5 a.m. Monday, Tropical Depression 13 is projected to become Tropical Storm Lorenzo later today, was located 315 miles south-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands with 35 mph sustained winds headed west at 15 mph.

“A motion toward the west-northwest is expected tonight and Tuesday,” forecasters said.

The projected path keeps it south of the Cabo Verde Islands, and while it is projected to grow into a hurricane by Tuesday, its five-day path keeps it in the mid-Atlantic with no threat to land.

Meanwhile, the 10th named storm of the season, Tropical Storm Jerry, maintained intensity after dropping from hurricane strength earlier this week. As of 5 a.m. Monday, the storm had 65 mph winds as it headed north-northwest at 9 mph about 355 miles south-southwest of Bermuda.

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