Tropical Storm Karen has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center.
WWL TV Meteorologist Laura Buchtel says, "We're going to be watching this for some possible impacts on our area Saturday into Saturday night."
The Hurricane Center predicts Karen will briefly become a weak hurricane Friday before decreasing back to a tropical storm prior to landfall on Saturday.
Buchtel says the National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane watch for many Gulf Coast residents.
"That includes everyone in the Florida Panhandle, coastal areas of Alabama and Mississippi and our eastern coastline down to Grand Isle under that hurricane watch."
She says metro New Orleans is not under the watch, but is under a tropical storm watch.
A hurricane watch is in effect from grand isle Louisiana eastward to Indian Pass Florida. This watch does not include metropolitan New Orleans...Lake Maurepas...or Lake Pontchartrain
A tropical storm watch is in effect from west of Grand Isle to Morgan City, along with Metro New Orleans, Lake Maurepas, and Lake Pontchartrain.
Buchtel says most models call for a landfall to the east of Louisiana, but expects Karen will get close to Louisiana before making a turn toward Alabama or Florida.
The tropical storm watch does include Metro New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas.. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
The National Hurricane Center tells WWL First News that their operations are not impacted by the ongoing shutdown of the federal government.