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Tropical Storm Karen Forms In Gulf Of Mexico

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MERIDA, MEXICO - SEPTEMBER 23:  Winds fold a palm tree in half as Hurricane Isidore plowed across the state of Yucatan on September 23, 2002 in Merida, Mexico. Isidore, after being downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved inland over the Yucatan peninsula, was expected to pick up strength as it moved over the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico, and has the potential to regain  hurricane status.  (Photo by Susana Gonzalez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Susana Gonzalez/Getty Images)

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Karen has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, and a hurricane watch is in effect along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says the late-season storm formed Thursday morning. It was about 500 miles (805 km) south of the mouth of the Mississippi River and already had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph).

The hurricane watch was in effect from Grand Isle, La., to Indian Pass in the Florida Panhandle. A tropical storm watch also was in effect for parts of the Louisiana coast west of Grand Isle, including the metro New Orleans area and Lake Pontchartrain.

Karen was moving north-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph). It could be at or near hurricane strength by Friday.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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