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Karen slightly better organized, TD Thirteen forms in the Gulf

Tropical Storm Karen is looking a little better on satellite imagery, but remains poorly organized. In the last 12 hours convection has deepened over the center of circulation, but there is little organized banding and Karen remains a minimal tropical storm. It is possible that this is the start of a strengthening phase since this is the first time that I've seen Karen actually look like a real tropical storm.

Karen - Infrared satellite

All of the models keep Karen well away from land, but the intensity is not well agreed upon. At this point, it looks likely that the system will reach tropical storm strength and pass harmlessly out to sea. Some of the models that are getting excited about Karen seem to be underestimating the strength of the shear. Right now my best guess is for gradual strengthening over the next couple of days but not reaching hurricane strength. However, the intensity forecast remains very uncertain given the insistence of the models.

Karen - Track Forecast

Karen - Wind Speed Forecast

Karen is expected to move to the north-northeast and slowly strengthen. However, increasing shear and cooling waters should limit its strength and prevent the system from becoming a hurricane. Karen is only a bare minimal tropical storm with 40 mph winds and a 1005 mb central pressure at this time.

Karen - Watches and Warnings

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, Tropical Depression Thirteen has recently formed in the Gulf of Mexico. There has been only sporadic convection within TD Thirteen so don't get too excited. The storm remains very weak and is nearly stationary.

TD Thirteen - Infrared satellite

Very slow organization is possible, and perhaps probable, but I am not holding my breath. This system hasn't been doing too much, but does have a very well defined surface circulation. I expect TD Thirteen to eventually reach tropical storm strength, but no more than that.

TD Thirteen - Track Forecast

TD Thirteen - Wind Speed Forecast

TD Thirteen remains in the middle of the Gulf and should gradually drift west-southwestward toward Mexico. Any system is the Gulf deserves watching, but I don't anticipate a significant threat from this system.

TD Thirteen - Watches and Warnings

Posted by Bryan Woods | Permalink