MIAMI (AP) – A growing tropical depression raised the possibility of a storm watch for Mexico’s gulf coast on Wednesday, while Tropical Storm Karen strengthened to near hurricane status in the open Atlantic.

The 13th depression of the season could strengthen into a named storm over the next day in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, National Hurricane Center meteorologists said.

A tropical storm watch was likely for part of Mexico’s gulf coast by late Wednesday, the center said.

At 5 p.m. EDT, the depression was centered about 225 miles east-southeast of Tampico, Mexico, and about 190 miles east of Tuxpan, Mexico. It was nearly stationary, and a slow, erratic motion was expected during the next 12 to 24 hours. Top sustained winds were near 35 mph.

Meanwhile, Karen was centered about 1,175 miles east of the Windward Islands, with top sustained wind near 70 mph, forecasters said. It was just 4 mph shy of being upgraded to a hurricane, but posed no immediate threat to land.

Karen was moving toward the west-northwest at about 12 mph. Tropical storm-force wind extended up to 85 miles outward from the center.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.