Tropical storm Karen: Wind shear and dry air have taken the punch out of Tropical Storm Karen, which now carries no risk of turning into a hurricane. But it will dump lots of rain on the Southeast before breaking up.
UPDATE: 4 p.m Saturday.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Saturday afternoon that Karen has stalled. Winds had fallen to about 40 m.p.h, but the tropical storm is expected to move toward the northeast this evening, and speed up Sunday night and Monday. The center of the storm will move over southeaster Louisiana tonight and early Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center computer models. Karen is likely to pass near the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama on Sunday.
With its barely discernible eye far off to the west of its main body, Tropical Storm Karen is beginning to disperse as a significant threat as it moves northward through the Gulf toward the US mainland.
Forecasters began downgrading Tropical Storm Karen’s potential on Friday night. Charlotte, N.C., meteorologist Brad Panovich summed it up in a Tweet: “#Karen is toast.”
“Here at Weather Nerd … we don’t stand on ceremony, so I am hereby treating this storm as basically ‘dead until proven alive,’” agreed weather blogger Brendan Loy on PJ Media, signing off on his coverage late Friday night.
Originally forecast to potentially come ashore as a weak hurricane, Karen has been decimated by a bank of dry air and strong wind shear that has taken most of the oomph out of it. With its rotation separated from its main wall of moisture, the storm now stands no chance of beefing back up, meaning it will become more a major rain event as it lumbers ashore near Mobile, Ala., and pushes northeast through Georgia and the Carolinas.
But forecasters reminded Americans living in Karen’s path to not let their guard down.