New tropical storm ‘harmless’

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, September 26, 2007 – Tropical Storm Karen, located 1200 miles east of the Caribbean is not expected to pose at threat to the region.

Forecasters predict that the tropical storm will remain in the open Atlantic Ocean where she will eventually dissipate as she moves northwest and encounter colder waters.

The direction of the cyclone is being influenced by a high pressure dome sitting over the ocean.

The cyclone is currently moving westward but the National Hurricane Centre is predicting that in a few days the high pressure ridge will weaken which will allow the storm to turn northward.

All global computer models are forecasting the same thing and none are expecting Karen to become a hurricane.

At 500am EST the centre of Tropical Storm Karen was estimated to be near latitude 11.2 north and longitude 42.1 west or about 1285 miles east of the Windward Islands.

Karen is moving westward near 14mph and by Thursday is expected to turn west-northwest.

Maximum sustained winds are near 50mph and storm force winds extend outward from the centre up to 70 miles.

In the western Gulf of Mexico a tropical depression has formed but remain weak though the official forecast calls for it to become a tropical storm before making landfall on Thursday.