(NOAA)

Tropical Storm Marco Drops Rain While Laura Expected to Strengthen in Gulf

The Gulf Coast was bracing for the impact of two tropical storms, with greater fears over the second system poised to make landfall this week.

Gusty winds, heavy rainfall, and lingering coastal flooding are expected from Tropical Storm Marco along portions of the Gulf Coast through this evening. Meanwhile, tropical cyclone wind and surge watches have been issued for portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast for Tropical Storm Laura.

Marco is moving toward the northwest near 7 mph (11 km/h), a turn to the west-northwest and a slight increase in forward speed is expected to occur tonight. On the forecast track, Marco will move inland over southeastern Louisiana tonight, and across southern Louisiana on Tuesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Weakening is expected, and Marco is forecast to become a tropical depression tonight and degenerate to a remnant low on Tuesday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center.

With Laura, a Hurricane Watch is in effect from Port Bolivar, Texas, to west of Morgan City, Louisiana. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from south of Port Bolivar to San Luis Pass Texas and from Morgan City to the Mouth of the Mississippi River.

Laura is moving toward the west-northwest near 20 mph (31 km/h), and this general motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected over the next day or so. A turn toward the northwest is forecast by Wednesday, and a northwestward to north-northwestward motion should continue through Wednesday night. On the forecast track, the center of Laura will cross western Cuba this evening and move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico overnight. Laura is then forecast to move over the central and northwestern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night and Wednesday, and approach the northwestern coast of the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is expected when the storm moves over the Gulf of Mexico, and Laura is forecast to become a hurricane by late Tuesday. Additional strengthening is forecast on Wednesday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km) primarily to the northeast and east of the center.

Read more at the National Hurricane Center

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