This is an archive of a former Wikipedia article.

Tropical Storm Karen was the twelfth cyclone of the active 1995 Atlantic hurricane season. Karen formed on August 28 in the Central Atlantic, but was a minimal storm during its lifetime and never threatened land. The storm reached a peak intensity of 50 mph for a time. Karen is only notable for its interaction with, and absorption by, Hurricane Iris on September 3. [1][2]

A tropical wave formed off Africa on August 23 with an already active tropics. The wave strengthened into Tropical Depression 12 on August 26 when Tropical Storm Jerry dissipated. The depression was unable to strengthen into a storm until August 28 becoming Tropical Storm Karen. Karen interacted with both the active Hurricane Humberto and Hurricane Iris from August 28 to September 2, causing Karen to start dissipating from Humberto and have a Fujiwhara interaction with Iris. Karen peaked to a 50 mph (80 km/h) moderate storm with a minimal pressure of 1000 mbar. Karen weakened into a depression on September 2 and was absorbed by Iris on September 3.[1][2] Karen was predicted to reach winds of 70 mph (110 km/h), but was unable to get that far as Karen ended up peaking at 50 mph (80 mph) on August 30.[3][4] [5]

Meteorological History

A tropical wave originated off the west coast of Africa on August 23 during an active day in the 1995 season with Hurricanes Humberto and Iris active already. Based on ship and island reports, National Hurricane Center surface analysies found a broad area of low pressure near the African coast. The organization of low of clouds fluctuated for the next few days. The low strengthen into the twelth tropical depression of the season on August 26 at 0000 UTC.[1][2] The National Hurricane Center had a hard time telling if the path of Tropical Depression 12 would be affected by the future path Hurricane Humberto at 2100 ITC on August 26.[4]At 100 UTC August 27, NHC's Max Mayfield confirmed that affects will occur in Humberto's wake to Tropical Depression 12.[6] Convection was not significant on August 27 however as TAFB reported 40 mph winds, a tropical storm, whereas SAB reported 35 mph winds, a tropical depression.[7] There was no wind shear for the depression to deal with, so convection was able to slightly increase or possibly intensify faster.[8]

Convection increased and the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Karen at 10 AM August 28, two days after forming. At this point in time, Hurricane Humberto was about 750 nautical miles from the center of Karen. Hurricane Iris, which had weakened into a tropical storm was about 1100 nautical miles west of Karen's circulation. Humberto started moving northward, away from Karen. Steering flow weakened in Humberto's wake, which caused Karen to slow down from 10 mph northward to 4 mph. Karen started approaching the slow-moving circulation of Iris, which had restrengthened into a hurricane. Northerly shear from Iris' upper-level outflow exposed Karen. During this period of time, Karen had reached her peak intensity of 50 mph (80 km/h) with a minimal pressure of 1000 mbar, a moderate tropical storm.[1][2]

Karen ended up within 700 nautical miles ESE of Iris on August 31 and moved northward, becoming caught in Iris' circulation. Karen's convection became disorganized on September 1, passing by Iris and moved cyclonically to the northeast. Karen weakened into a tropical depression of September 2, however a swirl of clouds were found north of Iris' circulation. The not well-defined remnants of Karen were absorbed by Iris the next day.[1][2]

Impact, Records and Naming

Strike probabilities on September 1 predicted a 41% chance for Karen to make pass within 65 miles of 26.2°N and 54.5°W. The strike probabilities also indicate that Karen had a 2% chance on affecting Bermuda on September 3 or September 4. The moderate chances quickly dropped to 21% 12 hours later. The same advisory also predicted a two to three percent chance of making landfall in Halifax, Nova Scotia and surrounding towns. At 2100 UTC on September 1, the area of landfalls changed to include New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ile St. Pierre and the Hibernia Oil Field at about 2-4% each except for Hibernia Oil Field which got a chance of 12% on September 5.[9][10][11]

Karen was not a threat to land, and therefore did not require aircraft reconnaissance. However, after flying nearby Hurricane Iris on September 2, U.S. Air Force Reserve aircraft provided a center on Karen. [1][2]

When Tropical Depression 12 became Tropical Storm Karen on August 28, 1995, the storm tied Hurricane Eleven of 1933 and Hurricane Eleven of 1936 for the earliest formation of an eleventh named storm of the season. The record was beaten by Hurricane Katrina in the extreme activity of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. [12] This was the second time the name Karen was used for a cyclone in the Atlantic Ocean, the other being in the 1989 Atlantic hurricane season. The name Karen was not retired this season and was reused in the 2001 Atlantic hurricane season.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Rappaport, Edward N.; None (1995-11-19). "Karen Tropical Cyclone Report". NHC. Retrieved 2006-12-31. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Lawrence, Miles B.; Lixion A. Avila, Edward N. Rappaport, Max Mayfield & Richard J. Pasch (1996-9-3). "1995 Monthly Weather Review". NHC. Retrieved 2006-12-31. 
  3. Jarrell (1995-26-08). "TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWELVE SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER 1". NHC. Retrieved 2007-01-26. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jarrell (1995-26-08). "TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWELVE SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER 2". NHC. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  5. Rappaport, Edward N. (1995-27-08). "TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWELVE FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 3". NHC. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  6. Max Mayfield (1995-27-8). "TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWELVE SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER 3". NHC. Retrieved 2007-1-18. 
  7. Max Mayfield (1995-27-8). "TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWELVE SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER 5". NHC. Retrieved 2007-1-18. 
  8. Lyons (1995-27-8). "TROPICAL DEPRESSION TWELVE SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER 6". NHC. Retrieved 2007-1-18. 
  9. Rappaport, Edward N. (1995-9-1). "TROPICAL STORM KAREN PROBABILITIES NUMBER 24". NHC. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  10. Rappaport, Edward N. (1995-9-1). "TROPICAL STORM KAREN PROBABILITIES NUMBER 26". NHC. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  11. Rappaport, Edward N. (1995-9-1). "TROPICAL STORM KAREN PROBABILITIES NUMBER 28". NHC. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  12. "NHC/TPC Archive of Past Hurricane Seasons". NHC. Retrieved 2006-12-31. 

External links