Lorenzo has strengthened into the fifth hurricane of the Atlantic season as Tropical Storm Karen continues to drench Puerto Rico on a potential eventual path toward the U.S. East Coast.
Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center say Lorenzo, located far out in the Atlantic, had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph on Wednesday morning could become a major Category 3 hurricane by Thursday.
However, forecasters say, it is moving to the west-northwest and is expected to take a more northwesterly turn by Thursday night – a track that would keep it away from land.
Meanwhile, tropical storm warnings have been discontinued in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as Karen speeds north past the islands, but its effects are still being felt. Heavy rain squalls moved through Tuesday, and the islands could still experience periods of heavy rain that could produce flash flooding and mudslides, according to the Hurricane Center.
Karen is expected to continue tracking to the north-northeast through early Friday, with gradual strengthening, but it will stall this weekend before heading in a “a slow westward to west-southwestward direction,” according to the Hurricane Center.
Forecasters continue to monitor Post-Tropical Cyclone Jerry, which continues to move to the northeast. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Bermuda, and forecasters say the center of the storm will pass near the island later on Wednesday.