Tropical Storm Laura continued moving west away from Florida on Saturday as the latest track saw it entering the Gulf of Mexico early next week and taking aim at New Orleans.
But there’s now a second tropical storm approaching the Gulf: Tropical Depression 14 reached maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and officially became Tropical Storm Marco on Friday night. It has been strengthening through the morning and as of 1 p.m. had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. It could become a hurricane sometime today or tomorrow.
Laura was located 60 miles southwest of Ponce, Puerto Rico and was moving west at 18 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 2 p.m. forecast. It was generating maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. Tropical force winds extended as far out as 205 mph.
But the latest track also takes Laura over land this weekend, including the mountains of Hispaniola and Cuba, which could significantly weaken the storm before it enters the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Monday.
Laura could dump up to 8 inches of rain over the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, southern Haiti and eastern Cuba. Residents of the islands should also watch out for flash flooding and mud slides.
Marco was located about 90 miles east-northeast of Cancun, Mexico and was moving north-northwest at 12 mph.
Marco’s projected path had it coming ashore in Louisiana Monday, while Laura could get close to that state by Wednesday.
There’s a third tropical system out there as well, called “Disturbance 1″ off the coast of Africa. It’s a disorganized band of thundershowers that is expected to move east through the Tropical Atlantic. It has just a 10 percent chance of developing over the next five days.
It will be a wet weekend in Tampa Bay regardless of all this tropical activity. There will be gusty winds and strong thundershowers this weekend with a chance of street flooding.
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2020 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide
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