Hurricane

Karen a tropical storm again, and could bring flash floods and mudslides to Puerto Rico

Peak storm season continues in the Atlantic basin, with a whopping three active storms in play on Monday.

UPDATE: Karen is a tropical storm again. Here’s what it means for Puerto Rico.

Karen became a tropical storm again early Tuesday, with sustained winds of 40 mph. Forecasters predicted Karen could bring tropical storm force winds, flash floods and mudslides on Tuesday to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, which are all under tropical storm warnings.

Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands could see two to four inches of rain, with isolated areas seeing eight inches. The Leeward Islands could see one to three inches of rain, with isolated areas seeing five inches. The NHC said these rains could cause flash flooding and mudslides, especially in mountainous areas.

While the storm remains far from Florida, the state’s Atlantic coast has a high risk of rip currents all week, causing dangerous conditions for small vessels and swimmers, according to the National Weather Service.

After crossing the islands, the hurricane center predicted Karen will head north and strengthen to a tropical storm again on Wednesday, before stalling out late in the week and possibly making a hard left toward Florida’s coast. The NHC warned that the predictions later in the week are still “quite uncertain.”

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The next storm to watch is Lorenzo, which is predicted to shoot from tropical storm to major hurricane by Saturday. The 5 a.m. Tuesday track shows the storm 310 miles south of the Cabo Verde Islands and headed west at 16 mph with maximum winds of 65 mph. Lorenzo is expected to become a hurricane by Tuesday night and ratchet up to a Category 3 storm by Saturday afternoon as it crosses the warm Atlantic waters.

The latest track shows the storm tilting north on Thursday, keeping it well north of any Caribbean islands, although it’s too soon to tell what impacts any of those islands might see.

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And then there’s Tropical Storm Jerry, which is predicted to cross north of Bermuda as a Tropical Storm early Wednesday. Jerry is moving north-northwest near 7 mph with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph with higher gusts, according to Tuesday’s 5 a.m. advisory, and is expected to turn north late Monday before turning to the northeast on Tuesday.

The government of Bermuda has issued a tropical storm warning for the island.

Bermuda may start feeling tropical storm-force winds by late Tuesday, according to the NHC, and see one to three inches of rain across the island through Wednesday. Bermuda may also see large swells and life-threatening rip currents in the next few days.

A new disturbance appeared in the southeast Gulf of Mexico near the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula Monday. Its predicted track takes it west toward Mexico’s coast, but forecasters give it a low chance of forming in the next few days.

This active peak season is breaking records, said Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist with Colorado State University’s department of atmospheric science. He tweeted that the 16 named storms that have formed in the eastern hemisphere of the Pacific and the Atlantic between August 21 and September 23 narrowly beat out the 15 named storms that formed in 1984 and 2002 in the same period.

Miami Herald staff writer Carli Teproff contributed to this report.

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Real Time/Breaking News Reporter. There’s never a dull moment in Florida — and I cover it. Graduated with honors from Florida International University. Find me on Twitter @TweetMichelleM
Alex Harris covers climate change for the Miami Herald, including how South Florida communities are adapting to the warming world. She attended the University of Florida.
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