HOUSTON - Tropical Storm Karen was struggling with wind shear and dry air Friday morning resulting in the surface center being exposed to the west of the thunderstorms.
This early morning satellite picture shows a shadow cast by tall thunderstorm southeast of the center.
As long as active thunderstorms don't develop near and around the center, Karen will continue to be at most a moderate tropical storm. Subtle changes in our computer models since Thursday suggests the storm might have a chance to gain a little organization and strength on Saturday as it nears the northern Gulf coast.
Karen was moving steadily towards the north-northwest Friday morning. It is expected to slow down late in the night and early Saturday while turning to the northeast. The cold front moving through our area Saturday evening will cause Karen to speed up and make landfall somewhere from extreme southeast Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle on Sunday.
As for impact, Karen remains a threat for southeast Louisiana to north Florida as it makes landfall Sunday. Tides could run as high as three to five feet, which would impact the most flood prone roads near the coast. Rainfall amounts are highly uncertain given the ever changing organization of this storm, but some locations could get up to eight inches of rain over the weekend. Winds near and east of where the center makes landfall will be strong enough to blow down some trees and disrupt power.
Offshore shipping and oil platforms will experience waves up to 15 to 20 feet and winds 50 to 60 mph.
Karen's slower motion means swells working westward will result in three to five foot waves on the Texas coast late Friday evening into Sunday. Otherwise, it will not impact for us.
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