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2013 hurricane season

National Hurricane Center / NOAA

Tropical Storm Karen is no longer - weakened to only remnants - and all watches and warnings are canceled.

The Panhandle can expect a few severe thunderstorms as the weather front approaches and there's a increased risk of rip currents on many Florida beaches.

It's also back to normal operations for the Florida State Emergency Response Team.

Tropical Storm Karen continued losing strength Saturday as it headed toward the central Gulf Coast, but forecasters were still expecting it to bring significant rain and potential flooding to low-lying areas.

The National Hurricane Center reported at 2 a.m. Saturday that Karen's maximum sustained winds had dropped to 40 mph, making it a weak tropical storm. The storm was moving west-northwest at 10 mph to 15 mph.

Forecasters expect the center of Karen to be near the southeast Louisiana coast on Saturday night, when they say there is a slight chance of strengthening.

A weakened Tropical Storm Karen, the first named system this year to threaten the U.S., still has its sights set on the Louisiana coast, but the National Hurricane Center has shifted the system's path a bit.

At 10 a.m. CDT, the storm was about 250 miles south southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving at about 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

NOLA.com says:

Newly formed Tropical Storm Karen, which could reach hurricane strength by Friday, is expected to make landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast sometime over the weekend.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the late-season storm formed Thursday morning about 485 miles south of the Mississippi Delta, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. It was moving north-northwest at 12 mph, but was expected to speed up.

Forecasters say it will make landfall in the U.S. either Saturday or Sunday.

Tropical Storm Humberto is poised to get a promotion, becoming the first hurricane of an otherwise lackluster Atlantic season to date.

Back in May, several independent forecast groups predicted an especially active Atlantic hurricane season this year. But with August drawing to a close, we've yet to see a single one.

National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Erin has formed in the eastern Atlantic, southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. At the same time, another system is brewing in the Caribbean.

Erin's maximum sustained winds early today are near 40 mph with additional strengthening predicted during the next few days. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the southern Cape Verde Islands of Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava.

The storm is centered about 65 miles west-southwest of Brava and is moving west-northwest near 16 mph.

Adam Hunger / Reuters

When preparing for a hurricane, there are two groups of people that may need special attention - the extremely young and the extremely old, and in many cases, the duty falls on the 'sandwich generation,' those who have to prepare both their children and their elderly loved ones for the storm and its aftermath.

Lisa Brown, a clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor of Aging Studies at USF, and Doctor Judith Bryant, a USF Professor of Psychology, shared a number of tips with us.

VIDEO: Florida Keys Prepare for Sea Level Rise

Jul 2, 2013
Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Bureau

Hurricane storm surge can inundate the narrow, low-lying Florida Keys, but that is far from the only water worry for officials.

A tidal gauge operating since before the Civil War has documented a sea level rise of 9 inches in the last century, and officials expect that to double over the next 50 years. So when building a new Stock Island fire station, county authorities went ahead added a foot and a half over federal flood planning directives that the ground floor be built up 9 feet.

Seasonal tidal flooding that was once a rare inconvenience is now so predictable that some businesses at the end of Key West's famed Duval Street stock sandbags just inside their front doors, ready anytime.

Dalia Colón / WUSF

The Atlantic hurricane season is in full swing. We've already been introduced to tropical storms Andrea and Barry.

But have you ever thought about the folks who share a name with an infamous hurricane? Meet Katrina, Wilma and Dennis.

The National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Barry washed ashore just north of Veracruz, Mexico, at about 8 a.m. Central Time.

According to the latest data, Barry's top sustained winds were about 45 miles per hour as it headed inland. The storm is expected to lose strength rapidly and fall to tropical depression status by tonight. But, the Center warns, "Barry is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches, with maximum amounts of 10 inches over southern Mexico."

The National Hurricane Center has issued coastal warnings in the Gulf of Mexico regarding Tropical Storm Barry. The second named storm of the 2013 hurricane season, Barry is currently in the southwest corner of the gulf; it is expected to make landfall in Mexico Thursday morning.

The center says an Air Force reconnaissance aircraft determined Wednesday that the storm, formerly called Tropical Depression Two, had strengthened. Barry is currently about 75 miles east-northeast of Veracruz, Mexico.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Electrical outages during recent hurricanes have many homeowners investing in portable generators which have become more affordable and available to consumers.

And while generating your own electricity can provide comfort and convenience in an emergency, it doesn’t come without potential dangers.

So, here are some general tips on the maintenance and operation of a portable generator as you prepare for the 2013 Hurricane season.

General Care of a Small Generator

The Eastern Seaboard is getting drenched this morning, as Tropical Storm Andrea moves north along the coast.

Check out this rainfall map put out by the Weather Prediction Center:

It shows that in the next 24 hours, a wide swath of the Mid-Atlantic will get hammered with about 3 inches of rain and New York may see close to 4 inches.

Tropical Storm Andrea has made landfall on Florida's Big Bend area, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reports. As of 5:45 p.m. ET, the center's tracking system placed the storm on the state's Gulf coast, level with Gainesville. Andrea is expected to spread rain and strong winds along the Southeastern coast tonight and Friday.

Weather Underground Inc.

In addition to some widespread damage, Tropical Storm Andrea is causing delays and cancelations, with a particularly strong effect on local high school graduations.

UPDATE AT 4:30 P.M. THURSDAY

The University of Tampa has canceled Thursday evening classes starting at 4:30 p.m. There are no regularly scheduled classes on Fridays or scheduled co-curricular events or activities for the rest of today. Special events scheduled for tomorrow will go on as planned.

David Ochoa / Bay News 9

Tropical Storm Andrea has brought heavy rain, sometimes gusty wind and a number of tornadoes to the Tampa Bay area Thursday, and activity is expected to continue as the storm moves through the Gulf.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the entire Bay area until further notice, and a Tornado Watch is in place until 10 p.m. for the region. There's also a Flood Watch until 8 p.m. and urban and small stream flood advisories for Pinellas County until 2:30 p.m. and Manatee County until 5 p.m.

Sarah Curran

We have had confirmed reports of tornadoes spawned by Tropical Storm Andrea touching down in Myakka City, Sun City Center and Gulfport.

The one in Gulfport did some damage to Yummy's Casual Cafe, a well-known spot on Gulfport's "Restaurant Row."

By the way, that tree that was destroyed was reportedly 200-years-old. 

The threat of tornadoes continues today with a tornado watch through 10 p.m. and the entire West Coast of Florida under a tropical storm watch until tomorrow morning.

Dalia Dangerfield / Bay News 9

Andrea, the first tropical storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, is drenching the Bay Area, bringing some tornado damage along with it.

The entire Tampa Bay area is under a tropical storm warning. There's also a flood watch through 8 p.m. and a tornado watch until 11 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center reported Andrea was about 160 miles west of Tampa Bay at 7 a.m., moving to the northeast at 14 miles per hour, with 60 MPH sustained winds with stronger gusts. It's expected to make landfall north of Levy County by Thursday evening.