The National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) latest update (Saturday morning) on two tropical storms swirling in the Gulf of Mexico, with crosshairs both pointed at the Gulf Coast of the US, is that both storms are set to strengthen through the weekend.
Readers may recall, Tropical Depression 13 (upgraded to Tropical Storm Laura) and Tropical Depression 14 (upgraded to Tropical Storm Marco), are two systems positioned in different locations of the Gulf of Mexico, with long-term tracking models both forecasting the storms could make landfall in very similar areas within, or a little more than a day apart.
“It is really unprecedented to have two storms make landfall within 24 to 36 hours in essentially the same spot,” Aaron Carmichael, a meteorologist with the commercial forecaster Maxar, told Bloomberg.
The last time two storms simultaneously traversed the warm waters of the Gulf was in 1959. The current forecast suggests Marco could strike south Texas to western Louisiana, on Tuesday, while Laura could make landfall on Wednesday evening into Thursday from Houston, Texas, to Mobile, Alabama.
The NHC released a statement at 11:00 ET about new updates on Laura, indicating the system is moving across the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Another statement was released by NHC detailing Marco could become a hurricane on Saturday night.
Long-term track models of both systems suggests, if both are upgraded to hurricane status before landfall, there could be widespread coastal damage from Texas to Alabama.
Carmichael said, “there’s still a lot of uncertainty with the forecast because the two storms could interact, with one sapping the other of its strength.”
The prospects of two storms slamming into the Southern US early next week comes as President Trump signed an executive order to redirect the Department of Homeland Security’s Disaster Relief Fund to support weekly unemployment checks for tens of millions of broke Americans.
Oh, and yes, there’s also a coronavirus pandemic ravaging Sun Belt states, along with depressionary unemployment – a perfect storm to say the least…