Three hurricanes churn the Atlantic basin
Hurricane watchers were tracking three hurricanes in the Atlantic basin Friday morning.
Tropical Storm Karl rebounded to full hurricane force in the Bay of Campeche Thursday after crossing Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. By Friday morning it was spinning at Cat. 3 force, with top sustained winds of 120 mph. That makes Karl the fifth hurricane (out of six) this season to reach "Major" (Cat. 3) strength. That's a pretty impressive performance, and it's a lucky break there have been so few landfalls.
That said, Karl appears ready to go ashore in Mexico tonight or Saturday. The National Hurricane Center shows the storm moving to the west at 9 mph. A Hurricane Warning is up from Veracruz to Cabo Rojo, with Watches posted north to La Cruz.
Forecasters are warning of a 12- to 15-foot storm surge as the storm - which could strengthen further before landfall - approaches. Five to 10 inches of rain are likely, with some locations receiving 15 inches. Flash floods and mudslides pose grave risks to residents of the region.
Far to the east, Hurricane Igor (photo) continues to stalk the island of Bermuda. Igor was located early today 730 miles south southeast of Bermuda, moving to the northwest at 9 mph. Top sustained winds were estimated at 120 mph. The island is under a hurricane watch today.
Residents have been told to prepare for a "direct hit," and forecasters are comparing it to Hurricane Fabian, which struck in 2003, leaving several dead and millions of dollars in damage.
Hurricane Julia, even farther to the east in the mid-Atlantic, was continuing to unwind in the open ocean. Top sustained winds were estimated at 85 mph. The storm was located 1,400 miles southwest of the Azores, moving west northwest at 24 mph. It is not expected to be a threat to land. Here is the latest advisory on Julia.
Finally, forecasters have also begun to watch a new disturbance coming off the coast of Africa. The storm is given only a 10 percent chance of becoming a tropical system in the next 48 hours. If it ever makes it to tropical storm force, it would get the name Lisa.