Tropical Storm Karen has diminished slightly to 60 mph top wind speeed. It's at 14.8N and 48.5W, advancing WNW at 14 mph. The five-day forecast shows Karen holding at storm strength, but shifting direction early next week toward the west and a possible path toward the US Eastern Seaboard.
September 13, 4 a.m. - Now-Hurricane Humberto grew up fast overnight, with winds strengthening to 85 mph, making Humberto a Category 1 storm. It made landfall early this morning in extreme southeast Texas near Beaumont. Location is 29.9 N and 94.1 W. Movement is NNE at 8 mph. The storm is expected to weaken as it moves further inland, becoming a tropical storm again as it reaches Louisiana and a tropical depression as it passes through Louisiana, Mississippi and eventually Alabama. Rains of 5-10" are forecast on its path, with localized amounts up to 15".
Tropical Depression Eight's status is essentially unchanged. WInds are still 35 mph. The center is moving WNW at 10 mph. Coordinates are 13.9 N and 47.5 W, about 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.
September 12 - With their 1 p.m. CDT update, the National Hurricane Center upgraded a system in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to Tropical Storm Humberto. Location is 28.3 N and 95.1 W, about 100 miles south of Houston. Top sustained wind speed is 45 mph. The storm is moving north at 6 mph. It is expected to make landfall late this evening along the Texas coast between Port O'Connor and the TX/Louisiana border. Rainfall amounts of 5-10" are forecast for SE Texas and SW Louisiana, with isolated areas receiving up to 15" of rain. This is not the best news for this part of Texas, which has had a very rainy summer already. The storm is predicted to track more NE into north Louisiana once it reaches land.
Perhaps a greater long-term threat is Tropical Depression 8, which has formed at 13.2, 44.6N, about 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. This storm has winds of 35 mph and is moving WNW at 12 mph. The NHC shows the system becoming Tropical Storm Ingrid by tomorrow, and staying at that level for the next several days while it moves slowly toward Puerto Rico. "Ingrid"'s projected track is troubling because it could pass north of Puerto Rico into "Hurricane Alley" between Cuba and Florida. Both Katrina and Rita followed this course in 2005. I will follow this storm closely and provide frequent updates.