According to a bulletin issued by the National Weather Service, Tropical Storm Karen has fizzled out in the Gulf of Mexico. The bulletin stated that the eye was no longer well defined but residents should still keep an eye out for further bulletins. The remnants of the storm could still bring rain to some areas of Louisiana and the Florida panhandle. The storm has been hanging around for days after it formed on Thursday off the Yucatan Channel and the southern Gulf of Mexico.
This has been an unusually quiet hurricane season with only one other named storm making landfall. That storm was Tropical Storm Andrea in June. The official hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 although it is unusual to have major storms late in the season. This was the 21st named storm this year. The latest a hurricane ever hit the United States was on October 21, 1921 in the Tampa Bay, Florida area. At that time hurricanes weren’t yet named.
There was some concern earlier in the week that the National Weather Service would not be able to make accurate predictions because of the government shutdown, but there were no glitches. In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was activated because of the possible emergency.
Throughout the area many emergency shelters were opened as preparations were made in case the storm made landfall, these have now begun to shut down. The Army Corps of Engineers closed the gates at the Harvey Canal in southeastern Louisiana, just south of New Orleans, in case there was a storm surge. The Corps were criticized for their response after Hurricane Katrina when many areas were flooded when the canals were filled with water.
The remnants of Tropical Storm Karen are expected to travel eastward along the coast making landfall somewhere in northwest Florida. It is still expected to drop 1 to 3 inches of rain along its path and there is always the possibility of a storm surge. Since there was no landfall it is believed there have been no reports of deaths or injuries.
As has been the case in the last several years, because of the storm, crude oil futures have risen. This is a result of oil companies evacuating their rigs which will disrupt the flow of oil. There is also always the threat of the storm closing down oil refineries along the coast. About 16% of the country’s oil production comes from the Gulf Coast.
The National Weather Service was in the news earlier this week when a hidden message was planted in a weather bulletin issued by the Anchorage office. The bulletin had the cryptic message “Please Pay Us” written in it. This was done by using each letter as the first letter of each line. Officials at the Anchorage office have refused comment. The link to this bulletin has been disabled by the weather service.
Check in with Guardian Express for any further updates.
Written by: Paul Roy
Fox 4 News
Wall Street Journal