LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Out of all the systems in the Atlantic which include tropical storms Jerry and Karen and now Lorenzo, Karen is the only storm at this time that is set to bring impacts to land with Puerto Rico in the crosshairs for a landfall by Tuesday as a tropical storm.
The initial track carries the storm northward and beyond Puerto Rico back out into the open waters of the Atlantic through Friday, but a turn to the west is looking to be a likely scenario by this weekend as it gets trapped under a ridge of high pressure and steered toward the U.S.
Considering this scenario is still several days out, things can still change, but the long-range forecast keeps a building ridge of high pressure established over the region which means confidence is growing that Karen could potentially steer toward Florida or even the Gulf of Mexico by early next week.
The last couple of runs of the European model bring Karen into the southern Gulf near or over the Florida Keys by Monday and continue it on a westward track. On the other hand, the American or GFS model is not too convinced that this is likely to be a problem for the Gulf, showing Karen weakening into an open wave over the Bahamas and completely fizzling out before reaching the Gulf of Mexico by early next week.
Obviously with this amount of disagreement in the models, one could make an argument either way of whether this actually becomes a real threat to the U.S., but it’s just something we’ll have to monitor over the next several days for now.
It’s important to remember that we are still in a very active part of hurricane season and not to let your guard down just yet, with a few more weeks of activity likely and an atmospheric setup that keeps the Gulf of Mexico a contender as cold fronts that typically begin sweeping through and helping clear the way of tropical mischief have yet to arrive. Stay tuned, and we’ll let you know when there is actually a real threat to Southwest Louisiana despite what you may begin seeing appearing in the dark pages of the social media abyss.
First Alert Meteorologist Ben Terry