As of 8 p.m. Thursday, the center of recently formed Tropical Storm Karen was centered at 23.8 degrees north and 88.9 degrees west. This places the system about 360 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Maximum sustained winds had increased to 65 miles per hour (mph), and the minimum central pressure had decreased to 999 millibars, or 29.50 inches of mercury.
Karen was moving north-north west at 12 mph. The storm is projected to turn toward the north, with a decrease in forward speed during the day on Friday. Forecasters expect Karen to strengthen into a hurricane by late Friday or early Saturday.
When and where Karen will make landfall
Forecasters expect Karen to make landfall as either a strong tropical storm or category one hurricane late in the day on Saturday. At the time of publishing, models indicate the projected path of Karen to track toward the northern Gulf Coast, with the system coming ashore between New Orleans, La. and Panama City, Fla.
Closer to home in Tampa Bay, few if any effects can be expected from Tropical Storm/Hurricane Karen. The system will track too far to the west to provide the area with any wet and windy weather for the upcoming weekend. However, tides to the north of Tampa Bay may run one to two feet above typical high tides.
Links to more information on Karen and Tampa Bay’s weather
For additional information on Tropical Storm/Hurricane Karen, please visit the National Hurricane Center website. To keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts for Tampa Bay and the rest of west-central Florida, please visit the local National Weather Service website, the Storm Team 8 Facebook page, and Meteorologist Denis Phillips Facebook page.