All eyes are on Karen in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The forecast track is still likely to change some as we move through the next 48hrs. Still, there is a good agreement that a NE turn will likely occur and that could bring it near our viewing area.
Good news is that strengthening is not anticipated as it is in a fairly hostile environment with lots of dry air trying to intrude on the system...
Even though it is unlikely that Karen will become a hurricane she can still impact our area... in particular with heavy rain and gusty winds.
The timing of the damaging winds would be overnight Sat into Sun AM. Most of NWFL could see sustained winds between 39-55mph with some isolated gusts between 55-74mph.
The rain threat will be very big... especially with all the rain we have already seen this year in NWFL. Notice the below map shows a range from 1"-9" over our area. That is critical to remember because subtle changes in the track/intensity of Karen will have a huge impact on who sees the heaviest rain.
I have always said that with every tropical system there are likely some people that are unimpressed and some that are quite impressed with the impacts over a small area. That will likely be the case with Karen and that is why we all need to be preparing for a strong tropical storm to hit our area later this weekend.
We have lots of safety and preparation resources on our tropical weather page at http://www.wjhg.com/weather/tropics/
Also, make sure to download our WJHG News App for Droid/iOS as well as our Hurricane Tracker App for iOS.
Know that the VIPIR7 Weather Team will be here to get you through the storm safely without the hype. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.