Back-To-Back Storms Approach the Gulf Coast This Week. Marco Weakens to a Tropical Depression as Laura Grows Stronger
Written by Sarrah Pelorus
Last updated 8/24/2020, 1:12:12 PM
Marco was a hurricane most of Sunday, but the National Hurricane Center says its maximum sustained winds decreased after nightfall. The center cautions that Marco could still cause life-threatening storm surges and dangerous winds along the Gulf Coast. Despite Marco's weakening, a storm surge warning remains in place from Morgan City, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Laura is traveling close behind.
The storm is currently approaching Louisiana for an expected landfall around midday Monday. Although the storm has weakened, the center cautions that Marco could still cause life-threatening storm surges and dangerous winds along the Gulf Coast. A storm surge warning remains in place from Morgan City, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi. A tropical storm warning included Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, and metropolitan New Orleans. Impacts for Southeast Louisiana and South Mississippi will begin this afternoon as rain bands start to move inland by late tonight and through most of Monday, bringing the worst of the weather associated with Marco.
Tropical Storm Warnings are no longer in effect for some areas in Mississippi. However, low-lying areas that usually see flooding may still be vulnerable. Much of South Mississippi and Louisiana remains under a Flash Flood Watch through early Tuesday morning. Heavy rain bands could lead to flooding throughout the day on Monday. Some isolated areas may pick up near 3 inches of rain. As with land falling tropical systems, there is also a small risk for spin-up tornadoes and waterspouts.
The second storm approaching the US coast, Tropical Storm Laura, was centered about 175 miles east-southeast of Cayo Largo overnight Monday and had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. The storm was traveling west-northwest at 21 mph and is predicted to strengthen into a hurricane by Tuesday morning with expected landfall on the Louisiana Coast by Wednesday night.
Laura has already led to the death of at least 11 people in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, causing power outages and flooding in Hispaniola.
Laura became the 12th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season on Friday morning. Marco became the 13th named storm Friday night and developed into a hurricane on Sunday.
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