Earlier this morning, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded a tropical disturbance in the Gulf to Tropical Storm Karen. This system looks to make landfall Saturday – Sunday along the Gulf coast, with locations in southern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the panhandle of Florida receiving the brunt of the impact.
The image below is from the National Hurricane Center, and paints a pink highlight over locations along the coast who are under a Hurricane Watch. This watch includes popular destinations such as Panama City Beach, Ft. Walton, and Destin, Florida…as well as Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama. Gulf Port, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana have also been included.
It will be important to keep an eye on this disturbance, especially those of you who are heading south for Fall Break. The biggest threat will be torrential rainfall from this weather maker, which could result in flooding. Tropical Storm Force winds in excess of 60-70mph will also be possible.
I’ll continue to keep an eye on this system as it evolves, and update you as necessary. The timing for this event is illustrated on the NHC model below. The black circles including a ‘S’ indicates Tropical Storm Karen, with the ‘H’ suggesting this will reach Hurricane strength for a short time between 7am Friday and 7am Saturday. Keep in mind that this is only a forecast. Much can change in a short time frame when dealing with tropical cyclones.