posted on Sep, 24 2019 @ 01:03 PM
Karen has strengthened as it approaches Puerto Rico especially in terms of rainfall potential. Heavy rains, life threatening flooding and mudslides
are likely for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Also strong wind gusts close to hurricane strength are likely, especially in higher elevations.
I have to give the NHC credit for keeping the Tropical Storm warnings yesterday even though Karen looked like it could dissipate. Hopefully their
vigilance will help save lives in what has escalated into a major flooding and mudslide threat.
The next 72 hours Karen is still expected to move north to NNE, after that a stall is expected. The forecast becomes much more complicated after that.
In the next 24 to 48 hours there will be much more input data for the computer models and that should help with the uncertainty. The scenarios include
the storm turning west toward the Bahamas and SE CONUS, to remaining stalled or looping around in the open Atlantic for the next 100 to 200 hours. As
of right now, there is no not a significant trough forecast to steer Karen to the northeast for the next 192. This makes the westward track scenerio a
problem for the Bahamas and CONUS.
As of 2pm Karen has sustained winds of 45mph with higher gusts, the pressure had dropped to 1005mb. The center is located about 65 miles south of San
Juan and moving north around 8mph. Tropical atorm force winds extend about 80 miles, mostly Southeast of the center.
Karen appears to be on a strengthening trend, however further strengthening later tonight and early tomorrow will likely be inhibited by land
interaction with the mountainous terrain of Puerto Rico.
The next full advisory will be a 5pm EDT.