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Hurricane Lorenzo rapidly strengthens to a Category 3 — and could get stronger

Hurricane Lorenzo ramped up in strength early Thursday, becoming a powerful Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds.

Meanwhile, to the west and closer to home was Karen, which was barely hanging on as a tropical storm after moving near Puerto Rico earlier this week.

But back to Lorenzo. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting the large storm to remain over the open ocean for at least the next five days. It won’t be a concern for the United States.

As of a 5 a.m. CDT special update from the hurricane center, Hurricane Lorenzo was located about 995 west of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands and was moving west-northwest at 15 mph.

Lorenzo had top sustained winds of 125 mph, making it a Category 3 or major hurricane, the third of the season so far (the others were Dorian and Humberto).

And Lorenzo could get even stronger. The hurricane center’s intensity forecast suggests Lorenzo could peak with winds as high as 140 mph, which would be Category 4 intensity.

Lorenzo is nothing for the U.S. to worry about. The hurricane center’s track forecast takes the storm northwest over the central Atlantic and then suggests it will recurve to the east over the weekend, keeping it safely away from land.

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