Tropical Storm Karen is expected to make landfall somewhere between New Orleans and Panama City Beach, Fla., this weekend, and beyond that, could bring much-needed moisture to the mid-Atlantic.
The storm is forecast to reach the Carolinas as a tropical depression by early Monday, with rainfall extending up to Maryland to start the work week, according to the National Hurricane Center. Of course, its track could shift over the coming days, and the storm could weaken and/or lose moisture.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a 50 percent chance of showers both Monday and Tuesday in the Baltimore area. But its forecast discussion does not mention possible remnants of Karen playing a factor.
Local meteorologist "Eric the Red" suggests models are in "excellent agreement" that Karen's remnants will head northeast along a cold front Sunday and Monday.
"The final path the remnants of Karen takes will dictate what -- if any -- rain we get from this storm, and obviously this is still a long way off," Eric writes. "But we do need the rain, and this at least offers some hope."
A swath of Maryland considered "abnormally dry" by the U.S. Drought Monitor has grown to cover 70 percent of the state, including nearly all of Central Maryland. It includes Baltimore and virtually all of Baltimore, Carroll, Howard and Anne Arundel counties.
At Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, 27.22 inches of rain had fallen through Wednesday, nearly five inches shy of normal.