Karen Poses No Threat, Weak; Bigger Force Looms on the Horizon

Hurricane Florence over the Atlantics close to the US coast, viewed from the space station. Gaping eye of a category 4 hurricane. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.

MOUNT HOLLY-Tropical Storm Karen’s force is diminishing over the Atlantic Ocean and is expected to continue becoming weaker in the coming days.  At this time, the National Weather Service says Karen will continue weakening significantly and poses no imminent threat to New Jersey.

Karen is expected to teeter out in a few days and forgotten and will dissipate into patches of rain and light winds.  According to the National Weather Service Karen’s best days are behind her.

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Data from aircraft reconnaissance, ASCAT, and NOAA buoy 41049 indicate that Karen’s circulation is becoming increasingly elongated. A combination of data from these platforms also supports maintaining an initial intensity of 40 kt for now.



The deterioration of Karen’s structure suggests that weakening is imminent, especially with an expected increase in northerly shear during the next day or so. The GFS and ECMWF models–via their simulated infrared satellite fields–are unanimous in showing Karen losing its organized deep convection in about 36 hours. Based on that, the new NHC forecast depicts Karen as becoming a remnant low in 48 hours. Due to a significant increase in southwesterly shear by day 4, the system is expected to open up into a surface trough by day 5.

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Fixes suggest that Karen is slowing down a bit and turning to the right, with an initial motion of 025/10 kt. The steering flow will be evolving over the next couple of days with high pressure building to the north of Karen over the western Atlantic. This will cause the cyclone to almost come to a stop in about 36 hours, and then turn to the west by 48 hours until dissipation on day 5.

However, as Karen moves out and fades into obscurity,  a stronger storm looms over the horizon. Hurricane Lorenzo packs a serious punch that could cause devastation in its wake. In the middle of the Atlantic, Hurricane Lorenzo is a rare category 4 hurricane that has the potential to be a devastating category 5 storm, but it is not expected to make land fall in the Carribean or continental United States.

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