Tropical Storm Karl turns south in the Gulf of Mexico

MEXICO CITY (HPD) — Tropical Storm Karl turned south Thursday and headed toward Mexico’s eastern coast, though forecasters said it was unlikely to reach hurricane strength.

The storm had been slowly moving north until weather conditions put a stop to it and turned it around. It is expected to weaken before hitting the coast of the Mexican states of Veracruz or Tabasco on Friday night or early Saturday.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Karl had maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (45 miles per hour) on Thursday afternoon. It was located 315 kilometers (195 miles) north-northeast of the city of Coatzacoalcos, in Veracruz, and was heading south-southeast at 11 km/h (7 mph).

A tropical storm alert remained in effect from the town of Alvarado to Ciudad del Carmen.

Tropical storm-force winds of at least 63 km/h (39 mph) extended up to 130 kilometers (80 miles) from the center of the storm.

The NHC said Karl could dump 3 to 7 inches (8 to 18 centimeters) of rain in parts of Veracruz and Tabasco from Friday through Saturday night. He indicated that there could be up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) of rain in isolated areas.

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