Tropical Storm Karen forms in the Gulf of Mexico; Hurricane watch is in effect along Gulf Coast

MIAMI - 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.

The hurricane watch was in effect from Grand Isle, La., to Indian Pass, Fla. 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.

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