As talked about last night, tropical storm Karen formed off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, and is now moving through the southern Gulf of Mexico. Sustained winds are 65 mph, and this storm will likely become a minimal hurricane as it moves north through the GOM. There is some dry air just west of the storm, and that’s one thing that could keep this storm from getting too strong. Most of the computer models show this storm just brushing extreme southeast Louisiana sometime later Saturday, with a second landfall sometime Saturday night near Mobile, Alabama.
Where it goes from there is a bit in question. The GFS model has been consistently riding the storm northeast along a cold front, which is forecast to come through here Sunday night or Monday morning. If this ends up being the scenario, the heaviest rain would end up to our southeast. We would see a drying trend beginning Monday afternoon.
The European model was a bit of an outlier, leaving Karen behind near New Orleans, allowing the cold front to sweep eastward and then moving the remnants northward, brushing us with some rain Wednesday or Thursday. This more disjointed scenario seems a bit less likely, but since it’s being shown by the European model, I’ll at least give it a little creedence. Fortunately we’ve got a couple of days. Right now we have the forecast dry for the middle of next week.
The other big weather story, is a raging snowstorm that is in the process of cranking up along the front-range of the Rockies. Blizzard warnings are in effect for parts of South Dakota, where 50+mph winds will fiercely whip the snow. Snowfall accumulations could approach or even exceed 2 feet in Wyoming, South and North Dakota. That storm WILL NOT bring us snow. It will be heading northeastward toward James Bay Canada, keeping us on the warm and rainy side of the storm. For now, it’s someone else’s snowstorm and not an issue for us.