Tropical Storm Karl heads back at Mexico’s south Gulf coast

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Tropical Storm Karl turned to the south Thursday and headed for Mexico’s Gulf coast, though forecasters said it was unlikely to reach hurricane force.

The storm had been heading slowly to the north before weather conditions halted it and turned it around. It was expected to weaken somewhat before hitting the coast of Veracruz or Tabasco states by late Friday or early Saturday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Karl had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph) late Thursday afternoon. It was centered about 195 miles (315 kilometers) north-northeast of the oil city of Coatzacoalcos and headed south-southeast at 7 mph (11 kph).

A tropical storm warning was in effect from the town of Alvarado to Ciudad del Carmen.

Tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 mph (63 kph) extended outward as far as 80 miles (130 kilometers) from the center.

The hurricane center said Karl could drop 3 to 7 inches (8 to 18 centimeters) of rain across portions of Veracruz and Tabasco from Friday into late Saturday. It said as much as 12 inches (30 centimeters) could fall in isolated spots.

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