Latest On Tropical Depression Karen

By: Eyewitness News, PinPoint Weather Email
By: Eyewitness News, PinPoint Weather Email

Associated Press Release

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Forecasters have discontinued tropical storm watches across the Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Karen slowly approaches.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said that it had discontinued the watches Saturday afternoon, leaving only part of the Louisiana coast line under a tropical storm warning. That area extended from Grand Isle to the state line with Mississippi.

Karen had also begun moving slowly again after being stalled off the coast earlier in the day. Forecasters said it was moving north at about 2 mph (4 kph). The center of the storm was located about 115 miles (186 km) southwest of Morgan City, La.

Its maximum sustained winds remained at 40 mph (65 kph).

Karen's center was expected to come ashore either Saturday night or Sunday morning. It was expected to weaken and lose tropical-storm status on Sunday.


Associated Press Release

BRAITHWAITE, La. (AP) -- Tropical Storm Karen is losing strength as it heads toward the central Gulf Coast, but forecasters are still expecting it to bring significant rain and potential flooding to low-lying areas.

The National Hurricane Center reported at 11 p.m. Friday that Karen's maximum sustained winds had dropped to 45 mph (72 kph), making it a weak tropical storm.

Forecasters expect the center of Karen to be near the southeast Louisiana coast on Saturday night, when they say there is a slight chance of strengthening.

Early Saturday, a tropical storm warning remained in effect from Morgan City, La., to the mouth of the Pearl River, which forms part of the border between Louisiana and Mississippi.

A tropical storm watch covered the New Orleans area as well as a stretch from east of the mouth of the Pearl to Indian Pass, Fla.



By Chief Meteorologist Mike McCall
October 4, 2013

Is Tropical Storm Karen "done"? It's possible, but still needs to be monitored this weekend.

Dry air and persistent wind shear took a toll on Tropical Storm Karen Friday afternoon and evening. At 11pm, the National Hurricane Center still carried it as a weak tropical storm with 45 mph winds, moving slowly toward the Louisiana coast. IF it somehow regains some strength on Saturday, it could still be a tropical storm at landfall in the western Florida panhandle Sunday evening, and could bring a good chance of showers along with breezy conditions to our area overnight Sunday into Monday.

However, if it does NOT regain strength, the effects locally would be considerably less, with just some scattered showers.

Stay tuned for updates.


Associated Press Release
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN and KEVIN McGILL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Tropical Storm Karen is poised to become the first named storm to hit the U.S. during what had been a relatively quiet hurricane season.

Karen is forecast to lash the northern Gulf Coast over the weekend as a weak hurricane or tropical storm. A hurricane watch is in effect from Grand Isle, La., to west of Destin, Fla. A tropical storm warning was issued for the Louisiana coast from Grand Isle to the mouth of the Pearl River, including the New Orleans area.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says early Friday that Karen was about 320 miles (515 kilometers) south of the mouth of the Mississippi River and had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph) with higher gusts.


State of emergency declared in 18 Florida counties

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in 18 Florida Panhandle counties in preparation for Tropical Storm Karen.

Scott signed the order Thursday evening.

Karen is forecast to hit the northern Gulf Coast over the weekend as a weak hurricane or tropical storm. A hurricane watch i in effect from Grand Isle, La., to west of Destin, Fla. It could be at or near hurricane strength late Friday and early Saturday.

Forecasters say Karen is expected to bring 4 to 8 inches of rain to portions of the central and eastern Gulf Coast through Sunday night.


Associated Press Release
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN and KEVIN McGILL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Preparations began Thursday along the central Gulf Coast as newly formed Tropical Storm Karen threatened to become the first named tropical system to menace the United States this year.

Hurricane and tropical storm watches were posted from southeast Louisiana to Florida and some oil and gas platforms in the storm's projected path were being secured and evacuated.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Karen was about 430 miles (695 km) south of the mouth of the Mississippi River on Thursday afternoon and had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph).

The hurricane watch was in effect from Grand Isle, La., to Indian Pass in the Florida Panhandle. A tropical storm watch also was in effect for parts of the Louisiana coast west of Grand Isle, including the New Orleans area.

Karen was moving north-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph). It could be at or near hurricane strength by Friday before approaching the northern Gulf Coast a day later, forecasters said.

While meteorologists said it was too soon to predict the storm's ultimate intensity, they said it could weaken a bit as it approaches the coast over the weekend.

"Our forecast calls for it to be right around the border of a hurricane and a tropical storm," said David Zelinsky, a hurricane center meteorologist.

Whether a weak hurricane or strong tropical storm, Karen's effects are expected to be largely the same: heavy rain and the potential for similar storm surge.

Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle, whose barrier island community about 60 miles south of New Orleans is often the first to order an evacuation in the face of a tropical weather system, said the town is making sure its 10 pump stations are ready. He is encouraging residents and clean out drainage culverts and ditches in anticipation of possible heavy rain and high tides.

Otherwise, residents were monitoring the storm and hoping to dodge the foul weather.

"Hopefully, this one is just a little rain event," said Camardelle "We don't need a big storm coming at us this late in the season."

Zelinsky said residents in the warning areas should listen to their local emergency managers for advisories. "Now is the time to begin making preparations," Zelinsky said.

Forecasters said a cold front approaching from the northwest was expected to turn Karen to the northeast, away from the Louisiana coast and more toward the Florida Panhandle or coastal Alabama. But the timing of the front's arrival over the weekend was uncertain.

Grand Isle suffered damage from Hurricane Isaac in August 2012. Isaac clipped the mouth of the Mississippi River for its official first landfall before meandering northwest over Grand Isle and stalling inland. Though a weak hurricane, Isaac's stall built a surge along the southeast Louisiana coast that flooded communities in neighboring Plaquemines Parish.

Mike Steele, a spokesman for the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said a conference call was planned Thursday morning for state and parish officials to discuss the storm.

"Just so we can be in contact and see if there are any needs we can help meet," Steele said.

Karen was expected to pass over Gulf oil and gas fields from Louisiana to Alabama, but early forecasts suggested the storm would miss the massive oil import facility at Port Fourchon, La., just west of Grand Isle, and the oil refineries that line the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge.

Oil giant BP said it has begun securing offshore rigs and evacuating non-essential workers from its four company-operated production platforms in Karen's projected path.

Other oil companies were expected to take similar action.

----

Associated Press writer Michael J. Mishak in Miami contributed to this report.


Press Release: Governor Scott's Office

Governor Scott has scheduled a call with Bryan Kook, Director of The Florida Division of Emergency Management regarding preparedness for Tropical Storm Karen this afternoon, October 3, 2013, at 3:50 pm.


Associated Press Alert

MIAMI (AP) -- Tropical Storm Karen has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, and a hurricane watch is in effect along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says the late-season storm formed Wednesday morning.

The hurricane watch was in effect from Grand Isle, La., to Indian Pass, Fla. A tropical storm watch also was in effect for parts of the Louisiana coast west of Grand Isle, including the metro New Orleans area and Lake Pontchartrain.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 226292521 - wctv.tv/a?a=226292521