Two tropical systems forming; Cayman to get 1-2 inches this weekend
Image source: NHC
Residents along the Gulf Coast are preparing for two tropical systems to make landfall next week. Some meteorologists are predicting that both Tropical Storm Marco and Tropical Storm Laura will increase to hurricane strength by next week-- this would be the first time in recorded history that two hurricanes would be churning in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time.
Tropical Storm Laura
“Laura’s track could also be influenced by Tropical Storm Marco, which is also forecast to be over the Gulf of Mexico, however the details of that interaction are highly uncertain at this time,” the NHC said.
Tropical Storm Laura is the earliest ‘L’ storm ever.
At 2 am on Saturday, Laura was moving west-northwest at 18 mph about 40 miles south-east of St. Croix, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.
On the forecast track, the center of Laura will move near or over portions of the Virgin Islands during the next several hours, near or over Puerto Rico later today, and near the northern coast of Hispaniola tonight and and early Sunday.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, 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 and the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. There is a Tropical Storm Watch in effect for the central Bahamas.
Laura is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, the southern Haitian Peninsula and eastern Cuba through Sunday. Maximum amounts up to 8 inches are possible along eastern portions and the southern slopes of Puerto Rico, as well as over Haiti, the Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba. This heavy rainfall could lead to flash and urban flooding, as well as an increased potential for mudslides with minor river flooding in Puerto Rico. 1 to 3 inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of 5 inches is expected over the northern Leeward Islands, the Turks and Caicos and southeast Bahamas.
Tropical Storm Marco
Tropical Storm Marco formed late Friday night after Tropical Depression 14 strengthened in the northwestern Caribbean.
At 2 am, the center of Tropical Storm Marco was moving toward the north-northwest near 13 mph about 150 miles from Cozumel, Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.
On the forecast track, the center of Marco will approach the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico today. The center will then cross the northeastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula tonight and move over the central Gulf of Mexico toward the northwestern Gulf on Sunday and Monday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days as the system approaches the Yucatan peninsula and Marco could be near hurricane strength when it moves over the central Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the eastern Yucatan coast within the warning area this afternoon and will spread northward and westward within the warning area tonight, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Hurricane conditions are also possible within the hurricane watch area by this evening.
Marco is expected to produce the following rainfall accumulations through Sunday: Eastern portions of the Mexican states of Quintana Roo and Yucatan: 3 to 6 inches, isolated maximum totals of 10 inches. This rainfall may result in areas of flash flooding. Northeast Nicaragua and the Cayman Islands: 1 to 2 inches.