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Karen threatens US during quiet hurricane season

Friday - 10/4/2013, 11:07am  ET

AP: 06dbed3b-d5b9-41c7-b611-9fbfbad6dbe3
This image provided by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Karen taken late Thursday night Oct. 3, 2013. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said late Thursday that Karen was about 340 miles (547 kilometers) south of the mouth of the Mississippi River and had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph) with higher gusts. The storm was moving north-northwest at 10 mph (16 kph). It could be at or near hurricane strength late Friday and early Saturday, forecasters said, with the center near the coast on Saturday. (AP Photo/NOAA)

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN and KEVIN McGILL
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Though weakening slightly, Tropical Storm Karen remains poised to become the first named storm to hit the U.S. in what has been a relatively quiet hurricane season.

National Hurricane Center forecasters expect Karen to be near the central Gulf Coast on Saturday, likely as a weak hurricane or tropical storm.

Karen is about 250 miles (405 kilometers) south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and 290 miles (465 kilometers) south-southeast of Morgan City, La. It's moving north-northwest at 10 mph (17 kph). Maximum sustained winds are 50 mph (85 kph).

A hurricane watch is in effect for Grand Isle, La., to west of Destin, Fla. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Morgan City, La., to the mouth of the Pearl River.

Karen is expected to produce rainfall of 3 to 6 inches through Sunday night, with isolated totals up to 10 inches possible.

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