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October 04, 2013

Tropical Storm Karen, 4 PM CDT advisory... (tmi3rd)

Hi there, Morons and Moronettes. tmi3rd here, and if I'm not doing the ONT, it must mean we have a tropical system threatening the continental US. So, over to the weather desk with us...

Tropical Storm Karen, as of the 4 PM CDT advisory, is a strong tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (gusts to 65), and is located about 235 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Movement is currently north-northwest at 9 miles per hour, and Karen is expected to bend more to the north-northeast over the next few days.

A tropical storm warning is in effect from Morgan City, LA to the mouth of the Pearl River (that's the MS/LA line, for those not familiar with the intricacies of the Gulf Coast).

More after the fold...


So, early October, and we're only now getting a storm threatening the continental US? Remember that when you hear more about ManBearPig from your neighborhood enviro-tard.

The key feature to TS Karen will be the 3-5 foot storm surge likely from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Mobile Bay. To the west and east of that, the storm surge should be more along the lines of 1-3 feet. Also, if you're in Apalachee Bay or Cedar Key, you could see 2-4 feet of surge.

The thinking right now is a landfall somewhere around the mouth of the Mississippi River, initially, and then going inland around Mobile Bay. This forecast WILL change as we get a little closer to actual landfall. The path always deflects a bit as the storm interacts with land.

Intensity-wise, Karen is not interacting with favorable conditions to strengthen into a hurricane. There's a lot of wind shear and dry air in its path, and it'll start interacting with land before too long. Land keeps the winds from speeding up.

Bottom line: if you're in low-lying coastal areas, you'll want to get everything off the ground and act like a flood's coming. If you've grown up in the area, you've been through this before. If you're new to tropical systems, this is the kind of storm that's a big rain maker and pushes a lot of water in front of it. Probably not much of a need to board up the windows, but make sure you don't do anything like try to cross high water.

Finally, you're inland and anywhere along a diagonal through about DC (see the above map)... the inland flooding that comes from a slow-moving rainmaker is what tends to get more people killed. I can't emphasize enough: DO NOT TRY TO DRIVE THROUGH HIGH WATER. People want to go see what a high creek looks like or what high rivers look like, and that's when they fall in and get killed. I don't know specifically where this storm will go, so if it looks like you're in the inland path, just stay aware.

It's going to be a busy weekend around the tmi3rd household, so if you've got questions, find me on Twitter at my handle.

Have a good weekend and stay safe!


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posted by Open Blogger at 08:21 PM

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