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The Latest With Tropical Storm Karen, Plus Our Weekend Forecast

Latest Information:  Tropical Storm Karen showing the effects of wind shear and drier air this morning.   The wind shear is about 20-25 knots and that is preventing most of the thunderstorms from wrapping around the center of circulation.  That means the center is exposed (you can see that on the satellite image below) and at the moment the storm is a little weaker with winds of 60 mph, and the pressure is up to 1003 mb.  Karen is moving to the NNE at 10 mph.

There is a ridge of high pressure located to the east of Karen and it is riding along the western edge of it.  At the same time, a trough of low pressure will be sweeping across the U.S. and that draw Karen northward toward the Northern Gulf Coast.  The forecast models are still all over the place.  A few of them have it getting weaker and making a landfall over Louisiana, a few more keep the storm stronger and making a landfall more to the east over Florida.  NHC has taken a middle of the road approach to the official track.

Right now, Karen is forecast to continue on a NNW track through today until Saturday early afternoon.  Then it will start to turn NE where is will make its first landfall on Sunday at 1:00 AM over Lower Plaquemines Parish.  The storm is forecast to get stronger today thanks to a small upper-level trough that it will interact with today.  This trough will weaken the wind shear enough to allow Karen to get stronger.  It is forecast to make the first landfall with 70 mph winds.  At this time, Karen is not expected to be a hurricane, but it could be close to being one.

Once it moves over Lower Plaquemines Parish, then it will continue to move NE toward Mobile, AL where it will make a second, and final landfall Sunday Afternoon/Evening.  At that time, the wind shear is forecast to become much stronger thanks to a strong cold front that will be sweeping across the Deep South.  This will weaken the storm, but it will still bring plenty of rain, wind and a storm surge from Louisiana to Florida.

Now if the storm gets weaker in the next 24 hours, there is a chance that it could be just pulled north and into Louisiana.  That means it would be a much weaker storm, but we would get more rain and wind in Baton Rouge.  However, this would be something we could easily handle since it would be like getting a strong thunderstorm for a few hours.  The good thing is that a strong cold front will move through Baton Rouge by Sunday Afternoon and that would clear everything out!

Tropical Watches & Warnings:  Currently, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Grand Isle, LA east to the Mouth of the Pearl River.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect from Grand Isle, LA to west of Destin, FL.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from Morgan City, LA to Grand Isle, LA.  This includes the city of New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Maurepas.

Impacts on Louisiana:  Far SE Louisiana will have the worst impact from Karen.  They will have winds around 40 mph with some heavy rain totaling about 3-5+ inches.  A storm surge of 3-5 feet will be possible across Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes.  This will also work its way into the Lakes where they could see a rise in the water levels.  This could cause some coastal flooding.

Impact on Baton Rouge:  We will not have too much of an impact here.  You can expect winds around 15-25 mph with scattered showers and thunderstorms.  We may get 1" or so of rain around Baton Rouge, but nothing we can't handle.

Impact on New Orleans:  They will have stronger winds around 25-40 mph, so that could cause some sporadic power outages.  Heavy rain is likely, and they could pick up 2-4" of rain with some possible flash flooding.

What should you do:  Just monitor the latest updates on WBRZ, the WBRZ Weather Channel,, my weather blog and my Facebook/Twitter accounts.

Today's Forecast:  An area of high pressure is located east of Louisiana today, and that will keep east to southeast winds over us along with Tropical Storm Karen.  This will give us partly cloudy skies with isolated showers and storms.  Highs will be in the upper 80s.  

Tonight is looking pretty good for high school football games with partly cloudy skies this evening and temperatures in the 80s.  Overnight, it will be partly to mostly cloudy with spotty showers.  Lows will be in the lower 70s.

Weekend Forecast:  A strong cold front will move closer to Louisiana on Saturday.  Ahead of it, we will be warm and a little breezy thanks to Karen.  Expect partly cloudy skies with scattered showers and storms to move into town as some of the rain bands make it into the city.  Highs will be in the mid 80s.  Saturday Night will be mostly cloudy with scattered showers.  It will be warm, muggy and breezy with lows in the lower 70s.

The cold front will push through the city by Sunday Afternoon and it will bring us some isolated to scattered showers and storms.  It will still be a little breezy at times.  Highs will be in the lower 80s.  We will become mostly clear and MUCH COOLER on Sunday Night with low temperatures in the upper 50s.  Finally a taste of Fall!!

Next Week Outlook:  An area of high pressure will build over the Southeast U.S. all week.  We will have gorgeous sunny skies Monday through Wednesday.  Highs will be in the lower 80s.  Each night will be clear and COOL with lows in the mid to upper 50s.

It turns warmer and a little more humid on Thursday and Friday as the area of high pressure moves east of Louisiana.  We will be partly cloudy and dry with highs  in the mid 80s and lows in the lower 60s.

Be sure to keep an eye on the weather this weekend & stayed tuned to WBRZ for more information! -Dave


Brice Hamilton said…
Nice update on TS Karen Dave, keep doing what you do well thanks!
Anonymous said…
Bringing my son to Baton Rouge for a tour of LSU on Monday - a friend sent me this report - great information, thank you!

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