Karl takes aim at Mexican Gulf coast
VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) – Karl strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday and was expected to gain more power before hitting Mexico’s coast near a port and an oil hub today.
Karl’s maximum sustained winds reached 100 mph, making it a Category 2 storm, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. There was a possibility it could become a major hurricane with winds of 110 mph or higher before making landfall, the center said.
The Mexican government issued a hurricane warning for a 186-mile stretch of coast in Veracruz state, stretching northward from the city of the same name. On its predicted path, Karl could make landfall between the port of Veracruz and the oil hub of Poza Rica.
By Thursday evening, Karl was centered 115 miles east-northeast of Veracruz.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Igor’s top winds also weakened to 125 mph on a track that could take it over Bermuda by Monday. The government of Bermuda issued a hurricane watch.
Farther east over the Atlantic, Hurricane Julia weakened Thursday, though remaining a Category 1 storm.