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Posted: Friday, 04 October 2013 6:35AM

Karen could hit coastal Louisiana before turning toward the east

The National Hurricane Center expects Tropical Storm Karen to cross over Plaquemines Parish before taking a right turn toward the Florida Panhandle.

"Coastal communities of Plaquemines, St. Bernard and Grand Isle... will likely see tropical storm force gusts," said WWL TV Meteorologist Laura Buchtel. "Metro New Orleans will see 30 to 40 mile and hour winds, gusts will be a little higher than that."

Power outages are among the top concerns with a tropical storm.  Local leaders urge people to prepare for the possibility of some electricity going out.
Buchtel does not expect widespread power outages.

"I think it would be an isolated event if we have some power outages here in the city.  It's a little more likely toward coastal areas."

But State Climatologist Barry Keim warns, "The intensity forecasting is notoriously wrong. It could be even stronger than anticipated, or it could be a little be weaker.  So, you definitely want to prepare for the worst."

That's why several area officials have recommended making sure your generators are full, battery supplies are restocked and you have some food and water on hand. 
The Hurricane Center track calls for Karen to cross over Plaquemines Parish late Saturday into Sunday and then make a hard right turn as a cold front moves south through Louisiana.  If that holds true, most of Southeast Louisiana will be to the west of the center of circulation and on the 'dry side' of Karen.

"The worst of the weather is going to be east of us," Buchtel explained.  "The worst of it will be up into Mobile Bay, the Florida Panhandle area."

She anticipates 2 to 4 inches of rain in the New Orleans area.

The National Hurricane Center warns that errors are possible in the forecast track, so the cone or probability does run from west of New Orleans all the way to Florida's Big Bend region.

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