TS Karen forms, pleasant pattern may end soon

The last several days, spilling even into the past several weeks, have featured pleasant weather on average with little precipitation and abundant sunshine. In fact, not only has the weather been pleasant and free of any major storm systems — it has also offered a bit of something for everyone. Cool nights, featuring lows near or below freezing in the suburbs, were the story a week ago. Two to three weeks ago, temperatures reached near 90 with a brief burst of heat. Again this week, temperatures have climbed into the middle 80’s. One thing has remained consistent, however: There has been lots of sun, and very little precipitation. The benign weather pattern finally looks to come to an end, however brief, early next week. In fact, the changes begin on Friday as clouds increase and a weak mid level disturbance brings a chance of showers.

Tropical Storm Karen formed early this morning, and is seen here entering the Gulf of Mexico at 8am 10/3/2013.

Tropical Storm Karen formed early this morning, and is seen here entering the Gulf of Mexico at 8am 10/3/2013.

Tropical Storm Karen formed early this morning, after forecasters tracked the disturbance from the Caribbean towards the Gulf of Mexico. Karen is forecast to track northeastward towards the Gulf Coast states late this weekend into early next week. Meanwhile, a mid level trough over the Central United States will be shifting eastward towards the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. The timing of the two features remains somewhat uncertain, but forecast models indicate the potential for tropical remnants and heavy rain to track up the coast early next week.

Discrepancies still exist among forecast models in regard to the positioning of a frontal boundary near or along the East Coast. The remnants of Karen are forecast by most models to shoot northeastward along the front from Monday into Tuesday. As the tropical remnants make their way up a frontal boundary, the potential will exist for not only increasing clouds and humidity, but plenty of rainfall as well. Seen below, the GFS valid late Sunday afternoon shows the storm system and mid level trough over the Central US, as well as Karen moving near the Gulf Coast. The white arrows indicate the expected track of the two disturbances amid the mid level flow.

Forecast models show TS Karen impacting the Gulf shores late this weekend, and then tracking northeast up the East Coast with heavy rains.

Forecast models show TS Karen impacting the Gulf shores late this weekend, and then tracking northeast up the East Coast with heavy rains.

Stay tuned over the next few days and into the weekend, and we’ll keep you updated on the potential for heavy rains early next week. Until then, pleasant weather is forecast to continue today, with highs in the upper 70’s to lower 80’s and plenty of sun.

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