Will devote this hurricane season to provide up-to-the-minute, basic information when a tropical system is threatening land. Both basins included.
By: hurricaneben, 4:20 PM GMT on October 05, 2013
What initially caught much of the US Gulf Coast on the edge amid fears that it may strengthen into a hurricane before landfall and produce potentially widespread damage, Tropical Storm Karen is barely hanging on as it slowly makes its way toward a landfall in SE Louisiana later today--winds still at around 40 MPH and any re-strengthening should be very slight, as it is running out of time to do so. Localized flooding remains a possibility but even the threat of that has definitely decreased since the past 24-48 hours. A sharp NE/ENE turn could bring it inland over Alabama/western Florida Panhandle as early as tomorrow afternoon into Monday, but as a weaker depression. Mandatory evacuations were declared for certain low-lying portions of SE Louisiana and there are states of emergencies in effect for Louisiana and Alabama in the past couple of days, but these may not be so necessary with the current weakening trend Karen has been going through. It doesn't mean you should let your guard down and rainfall of 1 to 3 inches of rainfall (with isolated higher amounts) is capable of producing localized flooding of low-lying areas, it's just that the threat isn't widespread at this time. Minor storm surges and a few weak tornadoes cannot be ruled out either, accompanied by occasionally gusty winds up to gale force.
There is the possibility of development of a tropical wave over the eastern Atlantic waters sometime this upcoming week. If this occurs, odds favor against any significant threat to land masses but there's still uncertainty as the potential of any development is several days out.
I'll have another update either tomorrow or on Monday.
Updated: 4:20 PM GMT on October 05, 2013
By: hurricaneben, 9:41 PM GMT on October 04, 2013
The Northern Gulf Coast is wary and preparing for the range of impacts Tropical Storm Karen might bring from New Orleans to the Florida Panhandle, but it's not expected to be as intense as initially forecast.
Winds are down to around 50 MPH (a change from yesterday's 65 MPH) as Tropical Storm Karen approaches the US Gulf Coast. Tropical storm warnings are in effect from Morgan City LA to the mouth of Pearl River but much of SE Louisiana eastward to Indian Pass FL remain under tropical storm watches, re-strengthening could occur before landfall but should be slow and limited. Regardless of strength, Karen has the potential to dump as much as 8 inches of rainfall which could lead to the risk for spots of significant flash flooding--especially over southern Alabama, Mississippi, SE Louisiana and the far western Florida Panhandle, in vulnerable low lying areas. Fortunately there does not appear to be enough moisture and convection to pull off an Allison (2001) or Gordon (1994) in terms of rainfall amounts/flooding, but aspects can often change so it would be necessary to keep closely updated with the latest forecasts and warnings if you're anywhere within' the cone of uncertainty or even within' close proximity of it. There is a much lesser wind threat, although tropical storm force winds can be strong enough to inflict minor structural damage upon poorly constructed homes, down trees and trigger scattered to numerous power outages. Minor to moderate coastal flooding from the storm surges are also a potential hazard, and isolated tornadoes could occur within' the heaviest squalls.
The tropics remain fairly quiet throughout the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific, if you discount Karen, which is a very formidable threat to areas impacted by itself. I'll update either tomorrow or on Sunday.
By: hurricaneben, 9:06 PM GMT on October 03, 2013
Earlier today, Tropical Storm Karen has formed just NE of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and now has winds up to around 65 MPH. It is a potentially significant concern for a decent portion of the Gulf Coast from SE Louisiana to the western half of the Florida Panhandle. Gradual additional strengthening should occur in the next couple of days and it is likely to at least briefly attain hurricane status sometime tomorrow or early on Saturday. Dry air closer to the coastline should help to weaken it quite a bit before landfall somewhere between Biloxi and Pensacola. It could still be close to hurricane status by the time it makes landfall, and the forecast tracks always have the potential to shift east or west as warranted. Rainfall-related flooding is probably the biggest hazard right now with rainfall amounts as much as close to 10 inches over SE Louisiana--but there is also a likelihood of minor wind damage such as downed trees and limited structural damage, storm surges of 2-4 feet near landfall location and isolated tornadoes. So a multi-hazard event shaping up here, prepare for the possibility of hurricane conditions if you're anywhere between New Orleans LA and Destin FL.
Elsewhere, the tropics are quiet with Jerry having recently dissipated. I'll have an update by tomorrow afternoon/evening, keep updated.
By: hurricaneben, 12:33 AM GMT on October 01, 2013
The system (97L) we've been tracking in the SW Caribbean remains rather disorganized but gradual development remains likely and we are tracking weak Tropical Storm Jerry which does not appear to be a threat to land.
Relatively unfavorable conditions are interfering with 97L's development in the SW Caribbean as it remains very disorganized. It is expected to follow a NW track possibly towards the Yucatan and Gulf Of Mexico where wind shear may be lower and more formidable development could occur. By the time it reaches the Gulf Of Mexico by mid to late week, a TD/TS forming is very probable but drier air further north should prevent significant additional intensification. Still it is something to watch as flooding rainfall may impact the Yucatan Peninsula Of Mexico, Cayman Islands and Western Cuba--and the Gulf Coast may see some major impacts in their weather well down the road. NHC gives this a 40% chance of becoming a TC in the next five days.
The other entity in the tropics is more organized than 97L--thus being classified as Tropical Storm Jerry--but does not appear to be a threat to land whatsoever. The odds of this impacting the Azores Islands have dropped as it is not likely to stay together that long. Winds are around 40 MPH as of 5 PM EDT and some strengthening is expected in the next couple of days but it is not forecast to reach hurricane status anytime in the short term.
I'll have another update by Wednesday or Thursday, maybe sooner if warranted.