Tropical Storm Karl continued to push westward Tuesday and is still expected to become a hurricane but steer clear of the U.S. coast.
Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center said that wind shear overnight continued to stifle much intensification, but they expect that to change by Wednesday or Thursday when winds die down and the storm moves over warm waters. A super moist environment is also expected to help Karl strengthen to a hurricane, although forecasters now say the storm is likely to be less intense than originally thought.
On Tuesday evening, Karl was located 480 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Islands, moving to the west at 14 mph with sustained winds of 40 mph. Tropical storm-force winds extended about 150 miles north of Karl’s center.
By Friday, when the storm is expected to be roughly parallel to Central Florida, computer models show the storm making a turn to the north, away from the U.S. coast as it picks up speed and becomes a hurricane. Models also forecast Karl to become a Category 2 hurricane, with winds reaching about 105 mph, although predictions so many days in advance tend to be less reliable.