Tropical storm KAREN headed for the oil leases - brief hurricane force expected
General overview 1630z 3rd October 2013, from west to east
Rapidly changing conditions aloft over the Gulf of Mexico, typical for late season, opened a window of opportunity overnight. Disturbance fifty eight rose quickly through the ranks passing tropical disturbance fourteen and saw dawn in as dawn tropical storm KAREN. Now centred 530 miles south of New Orleans with winds of 55 to 70 knots in gusts, the storm is headed close to north at 10 knots. KAREN has a current HSI of 5 (2 size / 3 intensity) and a forecast of 8 (3 size / 5 intensity), which we would consider may be a little cautious.
A reconnaissance aircraft found a well-defined circulation centre and some decent wind speeds this morning, giving the National Hurricane Centre the go-ahead to upgrade this cyclone. The expected track is towards the north - perhaps a little west - for the next 36 hours and in good, lusty albeit short-lived conditions. By Saturday, an approaching cold front will spoil the party and begin to take the edge off KAREN as it approaches landfall. It is therefore expected that KAREN will briefly touch peak intensity as a low category hurricane as it approaches the oil leases south of the Mississippi. The same cold front will then push KAREN to the east, towards the Florida/Alabama border and a landfall should occur late Saturday night or on Sunday morning as a tropical depression, somewhere along the Florida panhandle. Offshore, the first squalls are likely to reach the deepwater leases south east of Louisiana by late Friday morning. Tropical storm conditions will follow on Saturday morning with winds between 45 and 60 knots and hurricane force in gusts.
Disturbance fifty nine is just a day and a half east of the Caribbean and moving west at 10 knots. No significant development is expected, however it could bring squally weather to the islands of the eastern Caribbean in a couple of days.
Disturbance sixty limped to a uneventful conclusion in mid-Atlantic and is now off radar.
Useless tropical storm JERRY has weakened to a tropical depression somewhere mid-Atlantic and is now moving to the north east towards the Azores at 7 knots where it is expected to make an uneventful and uninspiring landfall as a pointless low pressure system.