Tropical Update – Tropical Storm Karen Forms
It's not a matter of if, it is now a matter of when the National Hurricane Center will give an area disturbed weather in the Caribbean Sea the name Karen. The system is poised to move into the southern Gulf of Mexico today and will then bring the threat of tropical weather conditions to the norther gulf coast.
The Hurricane Center's current advisory on the storm and its development can be found by clicking here. As of early Thursday morning the latest information on the system found wind speeds high enough for the system be declared a tropical storm. However the closed circulation that is indicative of tropical cyclones was not found by hurricane hunter aircraft. Another flight into the system is scheduled for today.
The latest tropical model forecast can be found here. As of early Thursday morning the best guess scenarios suggested an approaching cold front would keep the system and its heavy rains well to the east of Acadiana. Most of the model solutions are developing a tropical storm that will make landfall anywhere from New Orleans to Panama City Beach Florida.
Strong upper level winds associated with the approaching cold front are expect to keep development of the system to a minimum but still the possibility of heavy rain and gusty winds exist. There is also the possibility of the cold front slow down its forward progress, that could draw the system further to the west but right now most of the model solutions do not give that scenario a significant chance of occurring.