Rundown on the tropics after Karen forms this weekend

Posted at 8:03 AM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 09:03:19-04

As we start the final full week of September the tropics remain active with three named storms currently being monitored in the Atlantic Basin.

Tropical Storm Karen joined the list over the weekend, and is currently sitting in the south Caribbean Sea slowly drifting northward.

Neither Jerry, nor TD 13 are posing any kind of threat to the United States, and in the immediate future Karen will stay well east of the country as well.

Karen deserves a little extra attention, however, due to some of the model runs that came in over the weekend and continued on Monday morning

The forecast cone for the week seems simple enough, until the weekend when it appears as if the steering currents start to break down.

Between Thursday and Saturday there's not a whole lot of movement, until a gradual drift to the west right at the end of the forecast.

It's that time period which will need to be monitored the closest as it will determine if this storm has a chance to make a run into the Gulf of Mexico.

There's a little model support for this, although I will caveat that by pointing out there is a massive spread between our two major models.

Let's start the model breakdown as we usually do by dialing up the EURO run that came in early Monday morning.

It's important to remember that this is still about 10 days away, so there's a lot that will change between now and then so don't take this one model run as the definitive outcome.

Typically I won't show a model output that far out, but it's worth noting that there's already a definitive low, so there's not the issue of the model trying to figure out when the low will develop (something models are notoriously bad at doing).

Since the low is there already though will put a little more stock into the outcome, that being said though there's not a lot of model consensus.

A look at the GFS output for this storm is a good indicator of just how spread apart the two models are when it comes to Karen.

After glancing at the GFS solution and comparing it to the EURO there's a few similarities that jump out, starting with the break down of the steering currents resulting in the drift to the west.

At the same time though the two models are miles apart when it comes to intensity with the EURO favoring a hurricane in the Gulf and the GFS more of an open wave.

While models this far out aren't going to tell us exactly what's going to happen they can give us indications that there's something that needs further investigation, and in this case it's the last frame of the GFS run, the development of a low in the Yucatan.

Any development in that part of the world raises immediate eyebrows here on the Gulf Coast, but again remember it's very hard to pinpoint the development and position of a low that far in advance.

Why then should any of us care? Because when taken with the EURO solution it's a sign that there are likely favorable conditions for development in the Gulf for the first week of October.

It looks like October is going to get started with pressures running lower than average in the Gulf of Mexico which will keep the door open for possible development.

The timeline for any of this to pan out is still weeks away, and there's still the option that Karen fizzles and nothing happens in the Gulf of Mexico, but it is worth monitoring over the next week or two.

This would be a good time to review your hurricane plan in the event that something should pop-up and it would be a good idea to check in once or twice a day to see how things are shaping up.

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