SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Tropical Depression Thirteen formed in the Tropical Atlantic Ocean late on Wednesday. As of 8 AM Friday, it was located 255 miles east of the Leeward Islands with maximum winds of 35 mph. The storm was moving west-northwest at 12 mph.
The storm is expected to become a tropical storm by the weekend and would receive the name Laura, unless Tropical Depression Fourteen becomes a tropical storm first. Thirteen would then become Marco.
From there, the storm continues on to near Cuba or The Bahamas by early next week. The exact track and intensity of the storm are highly uncertain as we approach the middle of next week. For now, it looks most likely to take a track into the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
While further strengthening is possible, it is expected to remain a tropical storm as it passes over or near the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola.
As the storm gets closer to the Bahamas and the Florida peninsula, it is expected to become a low-end hurricane with wind upwards of 75 mph.
Tropical Depression Fourteen also has sustained wind of 35 mph as of 8 AM Friday. Movement is to the west/northwest at 12 mph toward the Yucatan Peninsula. Tropical Depression Fourteen could become a tropical storm today, and it could be near or at hurricane strength late Saturday.
Next week, T.D. Fourteen will make it into the Gulf of Mexico and will be a threat to the Texas or Louisiana coasts as a strong tropical storm or category 1 hurricane.
The forecast cones for Thirteen and Fourteen currently collide over the central Gulf Coast. The last time two named storms made landfall on the U.S. mainland on the same day was in 1933.
With much uncertainty involved with forecasting two storms this close together, it’s not yet clear if this will in fact be a repeat of that rare event. There could be timing adjustments made to each storm, and if one develops faster and dominates, it’s also possible it could cause the other to weaken.
With the potential for U.S. impacts, Tropical Depression Thirteen and Fourteen will need to be watched closely. Stay with Storm Team 3 as forecast adjustments are both possible and likely.