Tropical Storm Karen update: Big storm forms in the Gulf of Mexico

MIAMI - A hurricane watch is in effect for parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast after Tropical Storm Karen formed in the southeastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said Thursday.

A hurricane watch covers the area from Grand Isle, Louisiana, east to Indian Pass, Florida. A tropical storm watch is in effect from west of Grand Isle to Morgan City, Louisiana, an area that includes metropolitan New Orleans.

Karen formed between Cuba and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. It's producing winds of 60 mph.

The storm is moving north-northwest up the Mexican coast, the hurricane center said.

"Locally, heavy rains could affect portions of Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula during the next day or two," according to the center's advisory.

The storm has a high chance -- "near 100 percent" -- of becoming a hurricane or cyclone in the next two days, it said.

In the central Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Depression Jerry has sustained winds of 35 mph as it moves northwest at 9 mph. It poses no threat to land.

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