Karen's Flooding Rain to Skirt the Gulf Coast
October 07, 2013; 4:08 AM
While no longer a tropical storm, Karen will continue to graze the upper Gulf Coast with drenching showers and thunderstorms through Monday.
Karen has lost its battle with dry air and disruptive wind shear. The once-strong tropical storm weakened to a tropical rainstorm midday Sunday.
Despite weakening, the center of Karen will churn eastward near the coast of the upper Gulf Coast through Monday before moving into the northern Florida Peninsula.
The main impact of Karen during that time will be to spread drenching showers and thunderstorms onto the upper Gulf Coast from far southeastern Louisiana to the northwestern peninsula of Florida.
These showers and thunderstorms will continue to occur east of Karen's center and on Monday will be confined to Florida as the rest of the upper Gulf Coast dries out.
Also through Monday, some of the moisture from Karen will get drawn northward and enhance the rain accompanying a cold front spreading from the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Flooding, especially in low-lying and poor drainage areas, is a concern.
Flooding could unfold along the upper Gulf Coast from Karen's heaviest showers and thunderstorms. However, such incidents will tend to be localized rather than widespread.
Strong gusty winds will accompany a few of the strongest thunderstorms, potentially leading to minor tree damage and sporadic power outages. Meanwhile, swimmers and operators of small craft throughout the Gulf of Mexico should use caution on Sunday with seas running higher than normal.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists have been tracking Karen since last week.
Karen first started as a cluster of showers and thunderstorms across the southern and central Caribbean. Disruptive winds kept development to a minimum, but as the disturbance moved into the Gulf, warmer waters and less land interaction allowed some strengthening to occur.
However, as the storm moved across the Gulf, winds began to slowly tear Karen apart. This caused Karen to weaken from a tropical storm to a depression.
Winds aloft still remain unfavorable and dry air is expected to help weaken Karen even further as it approaches land.
Content contributed by Alex Sosnowski, expert senior meteorologist and meteorologist Jordan Root.