SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — There are two systems that pose a threat to the Gulf Coast of the United States this week. The first one is Tropical Storm Marco which is in the Gulf of Mexico. The second system is Tropical Storm Laura which is heading over Cuba now. Laura will become the larger threat as a stronger storm, possible hurricane later this week.
Tropical Storm Marco
Tropical Storm Marco will impact the United States on Monday with landfall likely along the Louisiana coast today. Marco formed late Friday night over the northwestern Caribbean.
Marco continues to weaken as the storm approaches the central Gulf Coast. Winds have dropped to 40 mph as of 2 PM Monday. It was centered 40 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving northwest at 6 mph.
Marco is incredibly lopsided. The wind shear and land interacted has ripped the storm apart and pushed all the rain to the northeastern side of the system.
Marco will likely make landfall later today along the southeastern coast of Louisiana, weakening to a tropical depression as it moves inland.
Tropical Storm Laura
After Marco, Tropical Storm Laura will impact the Gulf Coast late Wednesday and through the day Thursday as a hurricane.
As of 2 PM Monday, Tropical Storm Laura was centered along the southern coast of Cuba with maximum winds of 60 mph. The storm was moving to the west-northwest at 20 mph.
In the short term, Laura’s strengthening will be limited by interacting with Cuba though the day Monday.
Once Laura is back over the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday, the storm will become better organized and will become stronger. Conditions in the central Gulf of Mexico will continue to be favorable for further development.
By Tuesday morning, Laura will be in the Gulf of Mexico and it is expected to become a category 1 hurricane by Wednesday.
As it heads toward the Gulf Coast, Laura will likely continue to strengthen. It is possible for Laura to strengthen to at least a category 2 hurricane with winds greater than 100 mph.
Laura will then move up and around an area of high pressure which will block the storm from moving toward the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.