Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has declared a state of emergency across the state as Tropical Storm Karen approaches the coast.
In a statement Friday afternoon, the governor said the emergency was being declared in anticipation of heavy rains and high winds from the storm. Bentley added that tornadoes will also be possible.
Alabama's coast faces a possible 5-foot storm surge, high winds and dangerous rip currents as Tropical Storm Karen is expected to arrive over the weekend.
A hurricane watch was in effect Friday, though forecasts that afternoon suggested that Karen might strike the coast as a tropical storm. It was still possible that Karen would intensify and make landfall as a weak hurricane.
Forecasters say Karen could reach the northern Gulf Coast late Saturday or early Sunday.