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Little Change to Tropical Storm Karen

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 8:27 PM GMT on October 04, 2013

Tropical Storm Karen has slowed down a bit to 9 mph but is still heading north-northwest towards Louisiana. An Air Force hurricane hunter plane was in the storm Friday afternoon, and found top surface winds near 50 - 55 mph and a central pressure of 1004 mb. This pressure is 1 mb higher than what the Hurricane Hunters found on Friday morning. NOAA buoy 42001 reported a sustained wind of 44 mph, gusting to 51 mph, at 11:50 am EDT, when the center of Karen passed 40 miles to its southwest. The winds have declined since, as Karen has moved away. A spiral band on the north side of Karen's center of circulation moved over Southern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama early Friday afternoon, bringing up to 1" of rain to isolated areas. Karen continues to struggle with high wind shear of 25 knots, due to strong upper-level winds out of the west. These winds have driven dry air from the Western Gulf of Mexico into Karen's core, making it difficult for heavy thunderstorms to build on the west and south sides of Karen's center of circulation. Satellite loops show the classic appearance of a sheared storm, with the low level center exposed to view, and the heavy thunderstorms pushed to one side by the high shear. Karen has a strong upper-level outflow channel to its north that is helping ventilate the storm, and ocean temperatures are a very warm 29°C (84°F). Ocean heat content is 20 - 40 kJ per square centimeter, which is fairly typical for this time of year, and does not increase the odds of rapid intensification. Strong southeasterly winds ahead of Karen are pushing tides about 1 - 1.5' above normal along most of the Louisiana and Mississippi coast, as seen on our wundermap with the storm surge layer turned on.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Karen, taken at approximately 12:30 pm EDT on October 4, 2013. At the time, Karen had top winds of 50 mph. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 2. Wind forecast for 5 am EDT Monday October 7, 2013, from the GFS model run done at 8 am EDT Friday, October 4, 2013. The model is showing that Karen will be at tropical depression strength with winds of at most 35 knots (40 mph) at landfall near Apalachicola. This model run was initialized using data from the NOAA jet, so should be of higher reliability than previous model runs. The image was generated using our wundermap with the model layer turned on.

Forecast for Karen
Wind shear through Sunday afternoon is expected to stay high, around 20 - 30 knots, according to the 2 pm EDT SHIPS model forecast. The GFS , European, and HWRF models predict that Karen will weaken Friday night and Saturday morning as the storm slows down and turns to the north. The GFDL model disagrees, showing slow intensification. On Saturday afternoon, an approaching trough of low pressure will turn Karen sharply to the east-northeast. Most of the models show that Karen will intensify by 10 - 20 mph on Saturday evening and Sunday morning as the storm interacts with this trough, because of diverging winds aloft that will suck up more air from the surface. However, ocean temperatures will have cooled to 28°C by then, limiting the amount of intensification that can occur. Wind shear is forecast to rise to 35 - 40 knots on Sunday evening, which may cause rapid weakening. NHC has again reduced its odds of Karen achieving hurricane strength. The 11 am EDT Friday wind probability forecast from NHC put Karen's best chance of becoming a hurricane as a 14% chance on Sunday at 8 am EDT. This is down from the 21% odds given in the forecast six hours previous to that.

Since Karen is expected to make a sharp course change to the east-northeast near the time it approaches the south coast of Louisiana, the models show a wide range of possible landfall locations. A double landfall is possible, one over the Mississippi River Delta in Southeast Louisiana, and another in the Florida Panhandle. This is the solution of this morning's 12Z (8 am EDT) runs of the European and UKMET models. Karen may stay just offshore of Louisiana and make only one landfall in Alabama or the Florida Panhandle, as predicted by the 12Z runs of the GFS and GFDL models. Most of Karen's heavy thunderstorms will be displaced to the east by high wind shear when the storm makes landfall, and there will likely be relatively low rainfall totals of 1 - 3" to the immediate west of where the center makes landfall. Higher rainfall totals of 3 - 6" can be expected to the east. NHC's 11 am EDT Friday wind probability forecast shows the highest odds of tropical storm-force winds to be at the tip of the Mississippi River at Buras, Louisiana: 59%. New Orleans, Gulfport, Mobile, and Pensacola have odds ranging from 35% - 45%. I expect Karen will cause mostly minor damage at landfall, with flooding rains, storm surge, and a few tornadoes all a concern.

Most significant fire threat for Southern California in the past 5 years
A Santa Ana wind event has begun over Southern California, where wind gusts in excess of 60 mph have already been observed at three mountain locations Friday morning. Strong winds will spread to the valleys by Friday afternoon, and continue through Saturday. From the Los Angeles NWS office:

"Most significant fire weather threat across Southern California in past 5 years as strong Santa Ana wind event unfolds. In addition to the strength of winds being projected...the concerns with this event include the widespread nature and long duration of Santa Ana winds...very long period of single digit humidities...and extremely dry fuels approaching record levels. Red flag warnings are in effect for much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties overnight into Sunday. The onset of the offshore winds are expected to begin across the mountains by late evening...then descend into the lower elevations overnight. The peak of this Santa Ana wind event will likely be late tonight through Saturday morning...with the strongest winds focused across Los Angeles and Ventura counties."


Figure 3. A moderate risk for severe weather is predicted for Friday afternoon over much of Iowa.

A blizzard and a severe weather outbreak in the Midwest
The same low pressure system that is expected to turn Tropical Storm Karen to the northeast this weekend is hammering the Midwest with a variety of extreme weather today. Blizzard conditions enveloped much of Wyoming today, with up to 2' of snow falling at several mountain locations. In Rapid City, South Dakota, where more than a foot of snow is expected, the Police Department has issued a no travel advisory. A significant outbreak of severe thunderstorms with very large hail and a few tornadoes--possibly strong EF2 and EF3s--is expected over much of Iowa early this evening. Wunderground weather historian Christopher C. Burt has done some research to see the last time a blizzard, major severe weather outbreak, tropical storm, and extreme fire danger all threatened the U.S. at the same time, and has not been able to find such an event in past history, as detailed in his latest blog post.

I'll have a new post Saturday by noon.

Jeff Masters
The Snow Is Here!
The Snow Is Here!
This is going into work this cold, snowy blustery morning. Don't like it, but can't do a thing about it, except capture the beauty I see.
Tornado Damage 2
Tornado Damage 2
I could see the wall cloud from my front yard last night just prior to it spawning the tornado that caused this local damage. Unseasonably warm temps with a cold front coming though. Snow in the northwest part of the state, hot humid and tornadoes in the east.

Hurricane

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Quoting 1489. mrsbinder:
and they used those models and their experice and goofed all year.... rest my case.... history dictates my statements


And I thought it was the drop on your head when you were a baby..not history
Quoting 1499. SouthernIllinois:

Mornin' weather geeks! Still the best poster on here Cowboy. Funny and spot on baby! This won't be much more than a spring rain shower for many. Sorry Karen but it is what it is girl...


Hey, SI - where you been? have you started posting your tutorial on tree/tree species yet?
Quoting 1488. beell:
troll on, mrsblender.

See ya'll later.

And you quote them why? To give them attention. That's exactly what they want. Haven't we learned that by now. Beell? Beell? Haven't we learned that??
Quoting 1504. SouthernIllinois:

And you quote them why? To give them attention. That's exactly what they want. Haven't we learned that by now. Beell? Beell? Haven't we learned that??


LOL - well, we still quote you too . . . ;)
Quoting 1502. daddyjames:


Hey, SI - where you been? have you statrted posting your tutorial on tree/tree species yet?

Not yet Daddy, but gonna soon!! Been busy partying and enjoying everything nature has to offer down here in the deep wooded forests and rolling prairies. Gotta be active and outside as much as I can before winter settles in and I'm forced to be couped up inside!!!! :-]
Quoting 1505. daddyjames:


LOL - well, we still quote you too . . . ;)

Haha!!
Euro has once again dominated the GFS in tropical weather forecasting. Even the CMC has done a fairly good job with Karen. It was pretty obvious from the beginning that Karen would struggle greatly once in the Gulf. That's the reason why hugging the GFS solution for this storm was not advisable. The HWRF is a disgrace to the model world and should be thrown out. Karen's presence in the Gulf is about a month too late to be a significant storm.

Quoting 1506. SouthernIllinois:

Not yet Daddy, but gonna soon!! Been busy partying and enjoying everything nature has to offer down here in the deep wooded forests and rolling prairies. Gotta be active and outside as much as I can before winter settles in and I'm forced to be couped up inside!!!! :-]


Fantastic for you. Well when you are cooped, and have the time - I'm looking forward to it. So please let me know.
1510. GetReal



NE corner of Karen in view of radar.
Quoting 1510. GetReal:



NE corner of Karen in view of radar.


The people of Southeast Louisiana are hunkering down in their hurricane shelters in preparation for when Karen's northeastern shower-wall comes roaring ashore.
Convection getting closer to Karen's center?
Quoting YUCATANCHICXULUB:



Yes, here in Mexico be
tween Ingrid and Manuel are 160 deads

Tienes razón, metereologically, speaking system has been rather weak, but in your case very destructive, and killers with those Little bugs causing so much destruction in Mexico. Espero que se recuperen pronto, aunque nadie reemplaza las vidas perdidas...
Quoting 1504. SouthernIllinois:

And you quote them why? To give them attention. That's exactly what they want. Haven't we learned that by now. Beell? Beell? Haven't we learned that??
i always wondered that too. some of the climate posters will respond to every little silly remark dissing global warming.if you so confident the globe is warming why the need to impulsively reply to every silly remark. me tinks confident is lacking...and i wonder if the globe is warming as fast as they think. probably not and probably somewhere in the middle,,
Quoting 1499. SouthernIllinois:

Mornin' weather geeks! This won't be much more than a spring rain shower for many. Sorry Karen but it is what it is girl...


Nat, g'morning and thanks. All that snow to your west comin' your way? Some four feet somewhere in the Dakotas, wow!

Well, y'all have a good day. I've got to go and make some last minute storm preparations, you know, get beer and stuff to eat for watching foosball. I'm hunkering down until this thing is over! ;P
1516. GetReal
Quoting 1511. MississippiWx:


The people of Southeast Louisiana are hunkering down in their hurricane shelters in preparation for when Karen's northeastern shower-wall comes roaring ashore.


Hey where is that guy that was calling for a CAT 1 into NW Fl????
1517. DDR
Good morning,Heavy rain and Thunderstorms in Trinidad :)
Quoting 1514. BrownWeather:
i always wondered that too. some of the climate posters will respond to every little silly remark dissing global warming.if you so confident the globe is warming why the need to impulsively reply to every silly remark. me tinks confident is lacking...and i wonder if the globe is warming as fast as they think. probably not and probably somewhere in the middle,,
Me tinks you read into stuff too much.
Quoting 1518. mickharp:
Me tinks you read into stuff too much.

Me tinks you are correct. :)
Quoting 1516. GetReal:


Hey where is that guy that was calling for a CAT 1 into NW Fl????


Enjoying a beautiful day on the beach, flying a kite maybe?
1521. Patrap
Quoting 1515. moonlightcowboy:


Nat, g'morning and thanks. All that snow to your west comin' your way? Some four feet somewhere in the Dakotas, wow!

Well, y'all have a good day. I've got to go and make some last minute storm preparations, you know, get beer and stuff to eat for watching foosball. I'm hunkering down until this thing is over! ;P

Nope. Better not be. About 90% of the leaves are still on the trees. Would hate to have a Northeast late October snowstorm parallize the region like 3 years ago. Yikes!!

Beer and football. Preparations should be done with those two things. Party on baby!!
Quoting 1470. hydrus:
Cool looking loop with the thunderstorms shadowing the circulation..

That front is going to be saying, "Not so fast Karen you need to turn around!" lol

But really, this may not be over yet...
1524. Patrap
The morning scene in Lead, SD, where 43.5 inches of snow has accumulated (and it's still falling, albeit light!):

dr masters must be busy writing about last nights tornadoes?
Did Karen make her turn to the right yet?
Quoting 1516. GetReal:


Hey where is that guy that was calling for a CAT 1 into NW Fl????



The Floridians never give up- Largo, StormtrackerScott
Quoting 1513. HuracanTaino:
Tienes razon, metereologically, sistema de hablar ha sido bastante débil, pero en tu caso muy destructivo, y los asesinos con esos pequeños bichos que causa tanta destrucción en México. Espero Que se recuperen pronto, aunque nadie reemplaza las Vidas Perdidas ...


This way it is, besides 160 dead men, dozens of destroyed ways, thousands of houses, business, cars, million dollars in losses. The problem here is as always like the combination of two factors: The governments that do the things by half and the persons who do not have the culture of forecast. They are warned of storm and the people do not matter for him, unfortunately we have culture where we challenge to the nature and to the death. Regards
1530. VR46L
Quoting 1520. daddyjames:


Enjoying a beautiful day on the beach, flying a kite maybe?


LMAO !!! I guess by predicting Florida you have a higher chance of being right Odds Wize ......
Quoting 1527. spleenstomper:
Did Karen make her turn to the right yet?

Working on it. She's appears to be slowing up to allow convective activity off to her southeast to be winding into the circulation. I think the motion will be beginning now.
Quoting 1530. VR46L:


LMAO !!! I guess by predicting Florida you have a higher chance of being right Odds Wize ......

Wuz up!!??
1533. Torito
Quoting 1527. spleenstomper:
Did Karen make her turn to the right yet?


Nope, it is going to make landfall in LA now, THEN make the turn to the east.





JeffMasters has created a new entry.
Quoting 1514. BrownWeather:
i always wondered that too. some of the climate posters will respond to every little silly remark dissing global warming.if you so confident the globe is warming why the need to impulsively reply to every silly remark. me tinks confident is lacking...and i wonder if the globe is warming as fast as they think. probably not and probably somewhere in the middle,,

The topic is tropics, not climate.
Quoting 1508. MississippiWx:
Euro has once again dominated the GFS in tropical weather forecasting. Even the CMC has done a fairly good job with Karen. It was fairly obvious from the beginning that Karen would struggle greatly once in the Gulf. That's the reason why hugging the GFS solution for this storm was not advisable. The HWRF is a disgrace to the model world and should be thrown out. Karen's presence in the Gulf is about a month too late to be a significant storm.



Wish I had ECMWF numbers to compare.. Here's some model verification data for Karen.

How about that FIM9..Absolutely Dominated. Here's error in nm ~ 0hr, 24hr, 48hr & etc..(low numbers are best)

FIM9 31.3 45.7 58.0 64.0 63.1 96.8

GFS ensemble (AEMN)..better than most on the 48hrs forecast.
AEMN 26.0 46.8 59.8 112.8 184.3 -

This wasn't the best storm for CMC this season..obviously lost to the gfs on Karen.
CMC 32.5 64.0 115.5 176.1 125.8 -

If the HWRF is such a disgrace & should be thrown out why keep the CMC? HWRF has preformed better through 72hrs than the CMC...

HWRF 5.8 66.0 101.2 157.1 250.9 489.6

Overall the models have overdone intensity.. not by a crazy amount..FIM9 again, one of the better performers..
How about Wright, Wyoming:



Or Deadwood, South Dakota:

Quoting 1525. TropicalAnalystwx13:
The morning scene in Lead, SD, where 43.5 inches of snow accumulated:


Winter started early and with a bang for the northern plains this year.


Quoting 1537. TropicalAnalystwx13:
How about Wright, Wyoming:



Or Deadwood, South Dakota:


Dang Cody, where do you get all these pictures from?
Quoting 1500. HuracanTaino:
yES, but I'm getting curious of what will form in the East atlantic the next few days. We had Hurricane Jose in October about 14 years ago...


I really won't say NO to another Jose. Man it's been desperately boring here.
Reporting from south Louisiana, we have hunkered down for the blow and Karen is not disappointed us my wind gauge has gust up to 18 knots with sustained wind speeds of 14 knots. Being that the NHC blew the forecast track of Karen, me and momma are thinking about leaving for higher ground. That GFDL had it right 3 days ago but the NHC I guess cant read. Anyway this could be out last report, because conditions could deteriated quickly. We are strong people down here we will get through this.
1464. GetReal 10:11 AM CDT on October 05, 2013
Quoting GetReal:



I want to be the first to report some TS Karen damage: A gust of wind just blew my empty garbage can over!!!


LOL GR,
Yes, you reported first, but I can report actually had an issue from Karen yesterday demanding my attention - with that outer band shwrs that came across SE LA midday and ESE winds gusting, dang roof leak redeveloped! Was about to post here when sound of drip, drip got me refocused to more immediate concern... and back on the roof, caulk gun in hand between passing shwrs. Sheesh, this is getting old, like the roof!

Funny thing, had nearly 4" rain Mon-Wed, no problem...
Riverside, Jurupa Valley, CA (Indian Hills), Jurupa Valley, California (PWS)
Updated: 9:30 AM PDT on October 05, 2013
Clear
71.9 °F
Clear
Humidity: 16%
Dew Point: 24 °F
Wind: 5.4 mph from the WNW
Wind Gust: 21.5 mph

Pressure: 30.13 in (Rising)
Heat Index: 74 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 3.0 out of 16
Pollen: 5.30 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!
Clouds:
Clear -
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 1000 ft

Another windy day, not bad yet. Yesterdays high was 80.1 so the wind didn't
cause to much compression heating either. Will be warmer today.
Quoting 1542. weatherrx:
Reporting from south Louisiana, we have hunkered down for the blow and Karen is not disappointed us my wind gauge has gust up to 18 knots with sustained wind speeds of 14 knots. Being that the NHC blew the forecast track of Karen, me and momma are thinking about leaving for higher ground. That GFDL had it right 3 days ago but the NHC I guess cant read. Anyway this could be out last report, because conditions could deteriated quickly. We are strong people down here we will get through this.
Why does this sound to me like somebody who was hoping for an unanticipated RI from Karen and who is now disappointed that nothing is going to happen?
Grades I give past hurricane seasons, lol:
1995: A
1996: A-
1997: C-
1998: B+
1999: B+
2000: B-
2001: B
2002: C+
2003: B
2004: A
2005: A+
2006: C-
2007: B-
2008: A
2009: D+
2010: A-
2011: B
2012: B-
Quoting 1546. lobdelse81:
Grades I give past hurricane seasons, lol:
1995: A
1996: A-
1997: C-
1998: B+
1999: B+
2000: B-
2001: B
2002: C+
2003: B
2004: A
2005: A+
2006: C-
2007: B-
2008: A
2009: D+
2010: A-
2011: B
2012: B-

What are you grading them on? How interesting the storms were to track? Intensity? Forecast accuracy? Amount of damage caused? Well you see what I'm getting at. :)
Quoting 1546. lobdelse81:
Grades I give past hurricane seasons, lol:
1995: A
1996: A-
1997: C-
1998: B+
1999: B+
2000: B-
2001: B
2002: C+
2003: B
2004: A
2005: A+
2006: C-
2007: B-
2008: A
2009: D+
2010: A-
2011: B
2012: B-


I think 2004 should be an A+, or at the very least higher than 2008. Also, I would give 2010 a B+. Other than that, I think I agree.
Well, I found this from the same place I found "Thank You, Fruitcake Piano Man and Best Friend".

FXUS66 KPQR 060911
AFDPQR

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
208 AM PDT SUN OCT 6 2013

.SYNOPSIS...MILD PLEASANT DAY ON TAP TODAY...AFTER A COOL START
INLAND. HOWEVER...FRONT WILL SPREAD CLOUDS INTO REGION LATER
TODAY...WITH RAIN TONIGHT. UNSETTLED WEATHER THIS WEEK WITH BELOW
SEASONABLE TEMPERATURES. ONLY DRY DAY LOOKS TO BE WEDNESDAY.
&&

.SHORT TERM...
BRIGHT SUNSHINE TODAY WILL DISAPPEAR AS CLOUDS INCREASE LATER THIS
AFTERNOON INTO THIS EVENING. MODELS FAIRLY CONSISTENT IN SHOWING A
COLD FRONT PUSHING TOWARDS THE PAC NW TONIGHT. NOAA SATELLITE IMAGES
KEENLY SHOW FRONT NEAR 137W. MAIN WAVE NEAR 44N...BUT FORMING WAVE
TO THE SOUTHWEST NEAR 39N 143W WILL BE MAIN MECHANISM TO PUSH FRONT
ONSHORE BETWEEN 06Z AND 09Z. THIS WAVE HAVE BEEN FORMING RATHER
FAST OVER PAST 6-10 HRS. 00Z/06Z MODELS SEEM BEHIND SO WILL HAVE TO
ADJUST TIMING OF PRECIP. WILL SPREAD SPOTTY RAIN ONTO THE COAST
LINE BETWEEN 6 PM AND 8 PM...WITH SPRINKLES INLAND AFTER 8 PM. WILL
LIMIT PRECIP THREAT TO AREAS OVER COAST RANGE WESTWARD UNTIL 06Z.

COOLER AIR MASS WILL SPREAD INLAND ACROSS REGION TONIGHT. DECENT
ONSHORE FLOW BEHIND FRONT WITH RAIN TURNING TO SHOWERS. SNOW LEVEL
OVER REGION WILL DROP DOWN TO 6000 FT FOR MON. BUT COLDEST AIR WILL
LAG A BIT...ARRIVING MON NIGHT INTO TUE WITH SNOW LEVEL 4500 FT OVER
SOUTH WASHINGTON CASCADES. NOT LOT OF SNOW...BUT LIKELY FEW INCHES.
HELPING THE SNOW THREAT OVER CASCADES WILL BE DECENT 850 MB BOOSTING
OROGRAPHIC FLOW. NOT MUCH CHANGE IN THIS PATTERN THROUGH TUESDAY
WITH COOL SHOWERY AIR MASS. COULD EVEN SEE A LATE AFTERNOON OR AN
EARLY EVENING THUNDERSTORM ON MON AND TUE. MOS TEMP GUIDANCE SEEMS
REASONABLE WITH HIGHS IN LOWER TO MID 60S...WITH 40S OVER MTNS.
YES...SEEMS PUMPKIN PATCH WEATHER IS HERE. ROCKEY.

Sits Back to Fall Cool Shower LOL