Southwest Florida should see a cloudy and dry day Saturday as Tropical Storm Karen continues churning northward in the Gulf of Mexico.
But rain chances will increase Sunday and Monday as the storm makes landfall and the winds shift.
Karen encountered a bit of wind shear on Friday, which is a strong wind above the center of the storm. This wind shear pushed all of the thunderstorm activity, known as “convection,” to the east of the center of the storm. This lopsided storm was not able to maintain its healthy maximum sustained wind and as of 8 p.m. Friday, Karen had winds of 50 mph.
Karen is just far enough away from Southwest Florida that we’re seeing a lot of our moisture at the low and mid levels of the atmosphere — which would normally help create rain — being drained into the storm’s circulation. High level moisture in the form of clouds is what we have left for the first half of the weekend.
Karen will continue a slow jaunt to the north-northwest before being influenced by a cool front, which will turn the storm to the northeast later Saturday. The storm is moving a little more slowly than originally forecast, so it now looks like Karen will make landfall on Monday morning before sunrise. Previously, landfall was forecast for Sunday morning, which gives the Panhandle and northern Florida an extra day to prepare.
After a partly to mostly cloudy and dry day with a southeast breeze in Southwest Florida Saturday, the wind turns to the southwest on Sunday as Karen moves north of our latitude. Sunday and Monday will be a little breezy, with 10 to 20 mph winds forecast.
Most of the rain that falls Sunday afternoon will favor areas east of Interstate 75. However, all of Southwest Florida is fair game for rain Monday morning and afternoon. We could even see rain overnight Sunday into Monday.
After the rain ends Monday, we transition to a drier weather pattern, both precipitation and humidity wise.
The wind are expected to turn north by Tuesday and lower the humidity as well as the rain chances. In fact, most of the second half of next week will be mostly sunny. We may even start Friday morning in the upper 60s in the urban corridor and mid 60s inland if the current forecast guidance holds.
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