Two Tropical Storms Are Tracking Towards The Gulf

Saturday AM Satellite View
Saturday AM Satellite View(NOAA)
Published: Aug. 22, 2020 at 10:49 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2020 at 2:06 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Laura is a minimal tropical storm Saturday morning, heading westward. The center is well-defined on radar, passing south of Puerto Rico. A few days ago computer model guidance showed the center passing north of Puerto Rico. This is an important distinction and helps explain why the initial forecast tracks showing a path towards Dothan have shifted westward towards Louisiana and Texas.

Tropical Storm Laura
Tropical Storm Laura(NOAA)

The official NHC forecast cone shifted a bit farther west. The Saturday morning computer model guidance is diverging after three days or so. While some models show a track up towards Mississippi, other models show a track towards Louisiana and a fair amount are shifting even farther west, towards Texas. While uncertainty continues, we’re looking good in the Wiregrass, but we’ll keep monitoring.

Both Marco and Laura will end up in the Gulf, but there’s likely to be a “winner” and a “loser”. Marco may be the weaker system when the final reports are written, with the chance of Laura being much stronger. Laura looks to have the potential of not only becoming a hurricane (like Marco), but if the upper-level winds become favorable, perhaps a major hurricane. Water temperatures in the Gulf are generally in the middle to upper 80s.

Tropical Storm Marco
Tropical Storm Marco(NOAA)

Stay tuned as we continue to track the development through the weekend and into next week.

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