MIAMI, Florida -- As of 8:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, October 3, 2013, NOAA's National Hurricane Center in Miami issued its tropical weather outlook due to the formation of Tropical Storm Karen over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.
Tropical Storm Karen is located about 500 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Satellite imagery shows that the outer bands of Tropical Storm Karen are already reaching the Florida peninsula.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana eastward to Indian Pass, Florida. This watch does not include metro New Orleans, Lake Maurepas, or Lake Pontchartrain.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from west of Grand Isle to Morgan City, Louisiana, metro New Orleans, Lake Maurepas, and Lake Pontchartrain.
Data from a U.S. Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicates that the area of low pressure centered near the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula has become a tropical storm and is producing winds of up to 60 mph in the extreme southeastern Gulf of Mexico.
Spaghetti models differ on where the projected path of Tropical Storm Karen would follow; either a storm track towards the north, making landfall somewhere between New Orleans, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama, or take a turn towards the northeast, making landfall on the west coast of North Florida.
Mid-August through October is the historical peak of hurricane season.
NOAA Tropical Weather Outlook:
000 WTNT32 KNHC 031304 TCPAT2 BULLETIN TROPICAL STORM KAREN SPECIAL ADVISORY NUMBER 1 NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL122013 800 AM CDT THU OCT 03 2013 ...TROPICAL STORM FORMS OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO... ...HURRICANE AND TROPICAL STORM WATCHES ISSUED FOR THE NORTHERN GULF COAST... SUMMARY OF 800 AM CDT...1300 UTC...INFORMATION ---------------------------------------------- LOCATION...22.0N 87.6W ABOUT 40 MI...65 KM NW OF CABO CATOCHE MEXICO ABOUT 500 MI...805 KM S OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 340 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1004 MB...29.65 INCHES WATCHES AND WARNINGS -------------------- CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY... A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM GRAND ISLE LOUISIANA EASTWARD TO INDIAN PASS FLORIDA. THIS WATCH DOES NOT INCLUDE METROPOLITAN NEW ORLEANS...LAKE MAUREPAS...OR LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM WEST OF GRAND ISLE TO MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA...METROPOLITAN NEW ORLEANS...LAKE MAUREPAS...AND LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN. SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT... A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR... * GRAND ISLE LOUISIANA TO INDIAN PASS FLORIDA A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR... * WEST OF GRAND ISLE TO MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA... * METROPOLITAN NEW ORLEANS * LAKE MAUREPAS * LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA. A WATCH IS TYPICALLY ISSUED 48 HOURS BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS...CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE. DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK ------------------------------ AT 800 AM CDT...1300 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM KAREN WAS LOCATED BY AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT NEAR LATITUDE 22.0 NORTH...LONGITUDE 87.6 WEST. KAREN IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST NEAR 13 MPH...20 KM/H. A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE NORTH AND A DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED ARE EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 60 MPH...95 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND KAREN IS EXPECTED TO BE AT OR NEAR HURRICANE STRENGTH ON FRIDAY. TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 90 MILES...150 KM FROM THE CENTER. THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE BASED ON DATA FROM THE AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS 1004 MB...29.65 INCHES. HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ---------------------- WIND...HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN PORTIONS OF THE HURRICANE WATCH AREA BY SATURDAY MORNING...WITH TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS POSSIBLE BY LATE FRIDAY. RAINFALL...KAREN IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE AREAS OF HEAVY RAINFALL OVER PORTIONS OF WESTERN CUBA AND THE NORTHEASTERN YUCATAN PENINSULA DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. NEXT ADVISORY ------------- NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1000 AM CDT. $$ FORECASTER BRENNAN