This is a special briefing video on Tropical
Storm Karen from the National Weather Service in Tallahassee. It was recorded around 5 PM
on Thursday, October 3rd. Because warning information and specific details
could change with each advisory, it is always best to check for the latest information on
the National Hurricane Center website at hurricanes [dot] gov, or on the National Weather Service
Tallahassee website at weather [dot] gov [slash] tallahassee. As of the 5 PM Advisory, Tropical Storm Karen
was located about 400 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Maximum sustained
winds were near 65 miles per hour with higher gusts. The minimum central pressure was 999
millibars, and the storm was moving north-northwest at 12 miles per hour. The 5 PM forecast from the National Hurricane
Center calls for Karen to move on a general northerly or northwesterly course for the
next 36 to 48 hours, before it begins to recurve due to the approach of a cold front from the
northwest. Because it is forecast to recurve to the northeast as it approaches the Gulf
coast, do not assume there will be no impacts if it initially looks like the storm is headed
west of our area. Track details are still uncertain, so if you live in or near the white
cone of uncertainty on the graphic, you should be ready for impacts depending on the track.
Be sure to consider what you would do if the storm takes a more direct course for our area.
Do not focus just on the center, as impacts can extend outward from the center of a storm
hundreds of miles. Karen may become a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico. The next two slides will explain the track
uncertainty. In the first scenario, if the cold front moves a little slower, or Karen
moves northwest a little faster, it will be able to cover more ground before it recurves.
This would lead to a more westerly track that could focus impacts further west. However, if the cold front moves a little
faster, or Karen moves a little slower, the tropical storm will cover less space in the
Gulf before it begins to recurve, which would mean a track much closer to our area, potentially
a direct hit. This would lead to more significant weather impacts in our area. Because of this
possibility, it is very important that you continue to monitor the forecast. What should you focus on this evening? There
is a chance that Karen could impact our area. Even if the center passes to the west of our
area, keep in mind that impacts can extend outward hundreds of miles from the center.
The most likely area to feel impacts is the Florida Panhandle coastline west of Apalachicola.
Heavy rain will be likely near and to the east of wherever the center tracks. 2 to 4
feet of storm surge is possible in Apalachee Bay, with 1 to 2 feet of storm surge in the
Florida Panhandle. Finally, we should have more specifics by tomorrow as confidence begins
to increase. Here are a few things you can do. Keep an
eye on the forecast. It is likely to change or be fine tuned. Review your hurricane plan.
And finally, share what you know. Make sure that people are aware of the potential impacts
from the tropical storm. One hazard that will begin to increase even
on Friday, when the sun could be shining and it may not be very windy, will be rip currents
on area beaches. Swell arriving from Tropical Storm Karen will begin to increase the surf
and lead to dangerous rip currents. Do not be fooled by otherwise pleasant weather conditions. Thank you for watching our video briefing.
For more information, connect with us on the web or on social media.