Good day everyone!
Tropical Storm Karen has developed near the Yucatan Peninsula this morning. Information from a Hurricane Hunter Aircraft reported sustained winds of 60 mph.
As of the 8:00 a.m. EDT SPECIAL ADVISORY form the NHC, the following information was available on Karen, and is posted on the tracking map:
Karen is moving toward the NNW, and I expect this motion to continue today, before a turn toward the north occurs early tomorrow.
Analysis of the current steering layer mean, and forecast steering layers maps indicates this scenario, and I agree with a track blend of the TVCA / TVCN, and NHC track (OFCI).
Right now, based on this, the center of Karen should make landfall within the next 60-72 hours near Mobile Bay AL. This is based on current forecast parameters, and is subject to change with any changes that may occur in the steering pattern during that time.
Analysis of the current wind shear map from CIMSS indicates upper level winds are marginally conducive at the moment, however the GFS wind shear forecast indicates the upper level environment to improve somewhat during the next 12-24 hours, which could allow for further slow strengthening. The wind shear forecast calls for a fluctuation in wind shear over the next 2-3 days from slightly more conducive to marginal. The NHC has made a stipulation in the forecast discussion, that should Karen track further east, she could be stronger. This I believe is due to the fact, that the GFS Zonal Shear forecast has a small core of zero zonal shear value moving with Karen, which if she tracks further east, would be directly under this area.
Based on this analysis, I have to concur at the moment with the NHC intensity forecast,with the more reliable intensity forecast models indicating the forecast.
NHC FORECAST DISCUSSION WITH INTENSITY
Portions of the Gulf Coast states are under a HURRICANE WATCH. A HURRICANE WATCH means hurricane conditions could affect your area within the next 48 hours. Hurricane Conditions do not necessarily mean sustained winds of 74 mph or greater, but a combination of high wind, and waves, along with tidal surge. I have a link on the side of the page, which is a Hurricane Preparedness brochure. Please take time to read this over, and take the necessary precautions listed for a HURRICANE WATCH.
Albeit, IF Karen becomes a hurricane, due to the forecast of wind shear increasing just prior to landfall…you should at least be prepared for a STRONG Tropical Storm with sustained winds of near 60 mph, with higher gusts. Albeit she may only be TS status upon landfall, she will push water inland, so be prepared for coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. Again, being an eastern weighted system, the strongest portion of this storm will be near, and right of where the center comes ashore.
ALL maps I am posting will be LINKED, so please take the time to click on them for more information.
I will be posting another update sometime this evening. Once Karen moves to within Radar range, I will provide Doppler radar loops, and will try to post any flooding and surge information, as some of the offices providing this data are closed.
Residents under the HURRICANE and TROPICAL STORM WATCH areas should Monitor NOAA Weather Radio, and local NWS Office statements for any action necessary if and when warnings are issued.
NWS LOCAL HURRICANE STATEMENTS
Have a blessed day!
T. F. “STORM” WALSH III
GMCS, USCG (ret)
METEOROLOGIST / HURRICANE SPECIALIST
MEMBER WEST CENTRAL FL AMS
CERTIFIED SKYWARN OFFICIAL STORM SPOTTER (advanced)