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article imageHurricane watches issued along Gulf Coast as Marco strengthens

By Karen Graham     Aug 22, 2020 in Environment
Tropical Storm Marco became the earliest "M" storm to form in recorded history when it formed late Friday night. Now, it is nearing hurricane level and moving east as hurricane watches and storm surge watches have been issued for the U.S. Gulf Coast. meteorologist Orelon Sidney is saying "It's possible that two tropical systems could make rare back-to-back landfalls in the mainland United States." So this means everyone in the possible paths of Tropical Storms Laura and Marco need to keep alert for any changes in the tropical forecast.
According to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Marco is very close to becoming a Category 1 Hurricane. Marco is now about 75 miles (120 kilometers) west-northwest of the western tip of Cuba and 519 miles (820 kilometers) south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Marco is packing sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph) with higher gusts, and is presently moving to the north-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph). The storm's minimum central pressure has dropped to 994 mb (29.35 inches).
Strengthening is forecast during the next day or two, and Marco is expected to become a hurricane later tonight or on Sunday. Marco is likely to still be at or near hurricane strength when it reaches the northern Gulf coast on Monday
Hurricane and Storm Surge watches have been issued for the Northern Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Marco has turned east.
A hurricane watch has been issued for the following areas:
Intracoastal City Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border
Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans
A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for the following areas:
Sabine Pass to the Alabama/Florida border
Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, Lake Borgne, and Mobile Bay
A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Province of Pinar del Rio Cuba, while A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Alabama/Florida border.
Tropical Storm Laura approaches Dominican Republic
As of 8 p.m. ET, Laura is now 85 miles (135 kilometers) east-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph) and is moving to the west at 18 mph (50 kph). Laura has a minimum central pressure of 1004 mb (20.65 inches).
The government of Cuba has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the following provinces: Ciego De Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Mayabeque, La Habana, Artemisa, and Pinar Del Rio.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to Key West and for the Dry Tortugas, including Florida Bay.
On the forecast track, the center of Laura will move across Hispaniola tonight and early Sunday, near or over Cuba Sunday and Monday, and into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico Monday night and Tuesday.
More about Tropical storms, Marco and Laura, hurricane watch, Gulf coast
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