Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Tropical Storm Karen Threatens Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands


Tropical Storm Karen strengthened last night and reduced speed, traveling north at 7 miles per hour. The storm has a current wind speed of 40 miles per hour. Karen is expected to continue in a northerly direction through Tuesday. Guidance shows the storm making a sharp turn towards the west on Saturday; however, the storm’s track remains highly uncertain. The eye of the storm is expected to pass directly over Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands today, bringing heavy rainfall, flash floods, and mudslides. Isolated areas in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands should prepare for as much as 8 inches of rain.

NOAA 4-Hour Time Lapse of Tropical Storm Karen’s Track: Source

Karen’s future trajectory greatly depends on the formation of the storm over the next few days. Many models indicate that the tropical storm will turn and move in a northeastern direction in the next 48 hours, while other guidance predicts that Karen will stall over the islands before moving in a westward direction. Therefore, it is important that individuals continue to monitor the storm’s track and remain informed.

South Florida Water Management District Global Model Output: Source

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages individuals to stay safe and find higher ground in flooded areas. Individuals should heed the warnings of local authorities and prepare for dangerous conditions caused by flooding. The Hagerty Blog Team will continue providing information and updates.

FEMA Guidance Flood Safety

Public Advisories

Here’s the breakdown of public advisories from NOAA’s NHC in decreasing order of severity:

Tropical Storm Warning:

  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Puerto Rico…including Vieques and Culebra
  • British Virgin Islands


Remember, Ready.gov provides information on how to prepare for a storm and how to keep you and your family safe.
Understanding the meaning of hurricane maps – a NY Times Opinion Piece: Read Here

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