Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 9:50 am
Karen, once feared to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane, has stalled out and weakened into a tropical depression. The National Weather Service says the storm is "drifting" at 2 mph, moving toward Louisiana's southeastern edge. As of early Sunday morning, it was about 165 miles west-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Forecasters say that heavy rain and a storm surge may cause localized flooding in low-lying areas along the coast, but no widespread weather warnings or watches are in place. In Louisiana, an evacuation that had been mandatory was degraded to a voluntary evacuation on Saturday.
"Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 30 mph," the National Hurricane Center said on Sunday. "Karen is expected to become a remnant low later today."
In the next two days, Karen's path is predicted to shift a bit to the east, taking its center just south of the Alabama and Mississippi coast later Sunday and tonight, and passing over parts of Florida's panhandle on Monday.