Tropical Storm Karl: Major Update on Forecast

by Suzanne Halliburton
OSWALDO RIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

Tropical Storm Karl is spinning in the southern Gulf of Mexico. And it may strengthen to a minimal hurricane.

But Americans living along the Gulf coast, especially Florida residents dealing with Hurricane Ian’s aftermath, can relax. OK, relax while keeping an eye on the tropical forecasts. That’s because Tropical Storm Karl likely will do an about face, a weather twirl, and head south.

The system is expected to come ashore sometime Friday along the Yucatan. Although Karl currently is drifting north, forecasting models suggest it will bend to the south early Thursday. Only one of the spaghetti models suggests Karl will continue to head north and possibly land south of the Texas border in Mexico. The rest say the storm is headed to the Yucatan.

According to Fox News Digital, Tropical Storm Karl basically is trapped in the Gulf. But it’s in a sliver that’s still conducive for storm formation. Karl will strengthen a bit, but the winds and rains likely will weaken by the time he hits land. The upper-level winds that are steering the hurricane probably will start tearing it apart on Friday.

On Wednesday night, Tropical Storm Karl was moving at a snail’s pace — three miles per hour — towards the north, and northeast. That suggests a change in direction.

People who live in the highest elevations of far southeastern Mexico could face up to a foot of rain.

Cold Front Is Protecting Most of Gulf Coast from Tropical Storm Karl

Meanwhile, a cold front is expected to sweep through the southern United States this weekend. And that kind of high pressure typically shuts off tropical systems and pushes them away. We are moving into mid-October. Although hurricane season runs through the end of November, we’ve probably seen the last of any major storms headed this way.

As Fox Digital wrote: “There have been occasional freak storms in late October and November, so we can’t 100% rule out another tropical system affecting the Gulf or East Coast, but the chances are low.”

It’s all particularly good news for Florida, which took Ian’s wrath on Sept. 28, as the storm moved in with 150-mile-per-hour winds. The storm surge, along with the high winds, crippled towns along the southwestern coast. The death toll is now more than 100, with insured damages approaching $70 billion.

And with Tropical Storm Karl far down in the Gulf, it’s worth another look at how impressive Hurricane Ian looked on satellite. Check out the intense lighting within the eyewall.