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Tracking the Tropics: Marco nears hurricane status as it eyes Gulf Coast; Laura trailing behind

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tropical Storm Marco is nearing hurricane status as it eyes northern portions of the Gulf Coast. Tropical Storm Laura is trailing behind.

Tropical Storm Laura: 8 a.m. update

Tropical Storm Laura is dumping “torrential rainfall” across much of southern Hispaniola, according to the National Hurricane Center. The area Laura is moving over is quite mountainous and will slow any strengthening through Monday.

As of the 8 a.m. Sunday advisory, Laura is moving WNW at 18 mph with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

Models trends take Laura farther west, away from Florida. The current forecast shows a potential landfall somewhere along the northern Gulf Coast States from Mississippi to Texas late Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

  • Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra
  • The northern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the border with Haiti
  • The southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Punta Palenque
  • The northern coast of Haiti from Le Mole St. Nicholas to the border with the Dominican Republic
  • The southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Cuban provinces of Ciego De Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Mayabeque, La Habana, and Artemisa

TROPICAL STORM WATCHES IN EFFECT:

  • The central Bahamas
  • Andros Island
  • Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to Key West and the Dry Tortugas
  • Florida Bay
  • Cuban provinces of Ciego De Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Mayabeque, La Habana, Artemisa, and Pinar Del Rio

Tropical Storm Marco: 8 a.m. update

Hurricane warnings are being issued along portions of the northern Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Marco approaches hurricane status. Marco beat Laura to the Gulf of Mexico Saturday evening and will stay ahead of Laura through its lifespan. Any interaction between the two storms will keep both of them weaker. However, the latest timing of the storms do not bring them close enough for any interaction.

According to the 8 a.m. Sunday advisory, Marco is moving through the Gulf of Mexico about 360 miles south southeast of the Mississippi River. It’s moving north northwest at about 13 mph with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

Marco will likely reach the Gulf Coast Monday afternoon as a category 1 storm making landfall somewhere along the Louisiana coastline.

Laura will follow right behind Marco and potentially make landfall near the same location as Marco, just a few days later. Laura is expect to stronger than Marco at landfall and the current forecast brings it onshore as a category two storm with winds of 100 mph.

The forecast models have better confidence on a northern Gulf Coast landfall for both storms Sunday morning but trends will still need to be watched all week, especially for any changes with Laura’s forecast.

HURRICANE WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

  • Coast of Louisiana from Morgan City to mouth of Pearl River

HURRICANE WATCHES IN EFFECT:

  • Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans

STORM SURGE WATCHES IN EFFECT:

  • Morgan City, Louisiana to Ocean Springs Mississippi
  • Sabine Pass to the Alabama/Florida border
  • Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, Lake Borgne, and Mobile Bay

TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

  • Louisiana: Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and metropolitan New Orleans
  • Intracoastal City Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border

TROPICAL STORM WATCHES IN EFFECT:

  • Mississippi/Alabama border to the Alabama/Florida border

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