Hurricane watch issued for Alabama Gulf Coast - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Hurricane watch issued for Alabama Gulf Coast

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Tropical Storm Karen has led the National Hurricane Center to issue a hurricane watch for the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Tropical Storm Karen is in the Gulf of Mexico at this hour, according to Alabama's 13 Meteorologist Stephanie Walker.

It's about 500 miles south of the Mississippi River and is moving north, northwest. The tropical storm is "pretty strong" with sustained winds of 65 miles an hour. Experts forecast Karen to become a hurricane at some point in the next 24 hours and threaten the Gulf Coast.

Landfall could take place anywhere from New Orleans towards Panama City.

If the storm goes east of us, the impact would be minimal, according to Walker. That means we wouldn't see as much rain and wind.

"If the system moves inland near New Orleans or Biloxi, then we would definitely have more of an impact meaning more rain, flash flooding and perhaps more wind and isolated tornadoes," said Walker. "That would be late Saturday and Sunday in Central Alabama."

"I think the storm is going to impact us," said Alabama's 13 Meteorologist Stephanie Walker. "I think it's going to be either a tropical storm or a category one hurricane. This is not going to be a devastating storm. I think the biggest impact for us would be the amount of rain we would see and maybe an isolated weak tornado."

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