Two Hurricanes Could Form In Gulf Of Mexico Next Week For The First Time on Record
Written by Sarrah Pelorus
Last updated 8/21/2020, 3:46:46 PM
Two tropical systems are heading toward the Gulf of Mexico, and both of them may form into hurricanes before reaching the U.S. mainland early next week.
One storm is currently projected to make landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border with the other reaching the Florida Panhandle. Both systems are expected to form into hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico by Monday or Tuesday. Should the storms continue to develop, it would be the first time on record that the Gulf of Mexico has two hurricanes at the same time. Currently the storm systems are hundreds of miles away from each other but their projected paths run parallel to each other partially intersecting. Their landfalls are expected to be within hours of each other. However, it has not yet been determined that both storms will make landfall as hurricanes, or if their paths will diverge.
On Friday, Tropical Depression 12 strengthened into Tropical Storm Laura, with its direct path moving west towards the florida panhandle. Laura is forecast to develop into a Category 1 hurricane off Florida’s west coast next week and is projected to make landfall next wednesday. Currently, Tropical Storm Laura is approximately 175 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands, moving west at 18 mph. The system has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.
A Tropical Storm Warning is now 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, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla and Montserrat and the northern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the border with Haiti.
Laura is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, and the southern Haitian Peninsula 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 and the Dominican Republic.
The heavy rainfall could lead to flash floods and mudslides with minor river flooding in Puerto Rico. 1 to 3 inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of 5 inches are expected over the remainder of Haiti, the northern Leeward Islands, the Turks and Caicos and southeast Bahamas. Meanwhile, Tropical Depression 14 is approximately 165 miles east of Isla Roatan, Honduras, with sustained winds of 35 mph. The storm is currently moving northwest at 14 mph on a projected path toward Houston, where it could make landfall as a tropical storm after becoming a Category 1 hurricane.
Tropical Depression 14 will become Tropical Storm Marco if the storm continues to develop. Marco is expected to be the first of the two storms to arrive in the United States, with it’s projected landfall arriving in Houston on Tuesday Morning. Although the system is predicted to become a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center expects the storm to weaken before hitting the Texas coast. The system has already triggered a hurricane watch for Cancun and other parts of Mexico's southeastern coast.
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