Weakening Karen en route to Gulf Coast
Saturday, October 5, 2013, 8:49 PM -
Although still threatening shore, Tropical Storm Karen is weakening rapidly, barely qualifying as a tropical storm by early Saturday.
"Originally, we thought it might strengthen to become a weak category 1 hurricane. That is no longer the case," Gina Ressler, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, said early Saturday morning.
Tropical Storm Karen is weaker this morning, but could still have an impact on parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Tune in on TV for the latest.— The Weather Network (@weathernetwork) October 5, 2013
As of 8 a.m., the storm boasted winds of 65 km/h - only slightly above the official tropical storm threshold of 63 km/h.
Still, if Karen loses even tropical storm status, residents of Louisiana and Mississippi are being warned of strong winds and potential storm surge, with tropical storm warnings and watches widespread along those states' shorelines.
Rainfall amounts of between 25 and 75 mm are expected after the storm comes ashore late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
Its projected landfall site could be anywhere from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.
Although far to the south, the storm will feed plenty of moisture into a Colorado Low that will affect eastern North America.
In Ontario, it could be a factor in storms ranging from southwest Ontario to the Maritimes.
"The Colorado Low that affected South Dakota on Saturday along with tornadoes in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, will be sliding into the Great Lakes on Sunday with heavy showers and embedded thunderstorms," said Brian Dillon, another meteorologist at The Weather Network. "This same system will slide eastward to affect Atlantic Canada early in the week."
RELATED: How will Karen affect eastern Canada? Click here for Insider Insight from meteorologist Dayna Vettese.
Elsewhere in the United States, the past week was an active and destructive one.
Tornadoes were sighted in three Great Plains states, destroying at least four homes and injuring 15 people.