FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--Hurricane Lorenzo continued to gain strength Thursday, with the storm's strongest winds intensifying from 130 mph at 11 a.m. EDT Thursday to 140 mph by 5 p.m., according to the National Hurricane Center's latest public advisory on the storm.
Lorenzo is a Category 4 hurricane, but it was no threat to land and was churning nearly 1,000 miles west of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands off the African coast, or about 3,000 miles away from South Florida.
Lorenzo was moving toward the northwest at 12 mph, so it's also been slowing down.
The 5 p.m. Thursday advisory for Lorenzo notes that the storm has begun turning to the northwest.
Lorenzo could strengthen overnight but the hurricane center said fluctuations in Lorenzo's wind strength are likely on Friday and Saturday.
Category 4 hurricanes like Lorenzo are major hurricanes capable of causing catastrophic damage but thankfully Lorenzo is so far expected to stay out in the ocean. It is no threat to any land mass at this point, including Florida and the U.S.
As well, hurricanes that form off the coast of Africa at this time of year are notorious for creeping west in the Atlantic toward the Caribbean and the United States but Lorenzo's forecast track is not showing such a pattern.
Instead, Lorenzo is so far projected veer northwest in the Atlantic for several hundred miles before turning east, which accounts for the boomerang-like shape of Lorenzo's cone.
Meanwhile, the Atlantic hurricane basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, is becoming less crowded. The former Tropical Storm Jerry, which had been approaching Bermuda, is no more. A disturbance that was in the Gulf of Mexico is also gone.
But Tropical Storm Karen still lingers. Karen, keeping things interesting, is now projected to loop back toward the Bahamas as a tropical storm but fortunately Karen appears to be coming apart and is expected to dissipate by Saturday.
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