On Oct. 3, the National Hurricane Center named Tropical Storm Karen and issued hurricane and tropical storm watches. Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel concurs and tweeted on Thursday, “Agree with NHC strengthening to hurricane. Could be earlier.”
As of 11 a.m. EST on Thursday, Tropical Storm Karen had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and a central pressure of 1004 mb. It’s currently moving NNW at a speed of 12 mph. Karen formed in the Yucatan Channel and is moving into the Gulf of Mexico. A hurricane watch was issued on Oct. 3 for a coastal area that runs from Grand Isle, La. to Indian Pass, Fla. Metro New Orleans is not included in the hurricane watch, but it is included in the tropical storm watch, which includes Lake Ponchartrain and Lake Maurepas, as well as the Gulf Coast from west of Grand Isle to Morgan City, La.
A hurricane watch means sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are possible within the specified area. A tropical storm watch means sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph are possible. According to The Weather Channel, the GFS and Euro models disagree. The Euro model shows Karen tracking more to the west and weakening, while the GFS model tracks the storm farther to the east in Florida and potentially strengthening to a hurricane. CNN reported on Thursday, “The storm has a high chance - near 100% - of becoming a hurricane or cyclone in the next two days."
- “A lot of questions from you on track. A stronger storm more than likely means FL panhandle landfall. A weaker storm, Mobile or west.”
- “Do feel with current shear forecast and speed minimal cane at best. Chances of an Opal are very very low.”
- “Also like Opal & IF #Karen is stronger at landfall w/the core holding together expect some wind issues as far north as Birmingham and ATL.
- “#Karen on its way to east central gulf coast. Hurricane hunters find 60 mph TS. Advisory package coming.”
- “Nice flair up around 97L with excellent outflow.”
In the meantime, The Weather Channel is shifting into overdrive to cover a triple weather threat. In addition to watching Tropical Storm Karen, meteorologists are also closely monitoring Winter Storm Atlas, which will impact the Rockies. There is also a warm side severe weather threat.
For the latest information on Tropical Storm Karen, plus watches and warnings, head to Hurricane Central on The Weather Channel website.
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