Tropical Storms Laura, Marco likely to hit Louisiana within days of each other

Tropical Storm Marco has gained strength quickly and could become a hurricane on Sunday, according to an update by the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Meanwhile, in the 11 p.m. Saturday update from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Laura has also gained strength.

The two tropical storms have their eyes on the Gulf of Mexico as the systems continue to move closer to the U.S.

Most of Florida is now out of both Laura and Marco’s cones, but the National Hurricane Center says the long-range track is uncertain since Laura still has to move either near or over portions of the Greater Antilles through Monday. 

Both Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Storm Marco are forecast to become hurricanes as they move through the Gulf of Mexico. 

STAY PREPARED: Get all you need to know about the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season with the FOX 35 Orlando Hurricane Guide

There is a chance the storms could merge over the Gulf, with the stronger of the two absorbing the weaker storm, however, meteorologists say this would not create an even stronger storm.

If that happens, it would be the first time two hurricanes were in the Gulf at the same time, forecasters say, going back to the start of record-keeping in 1851. 

RELATED: Fujiwhara effect: Here’s what could happen if Laura and Marco collide in the Gulf of Mexico

Tropical Storm Laura has strengthened and is packing maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

As of the 11 p.m. Saturday update, Laura is producing heavy rain over the Dominican Republic.

Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • The northern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the border with Haiti
  • The southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Punta Palenque
  • The northern coast of Haiti from Le Mole St. Nicholas to the border with the Dominican Republic
  •  The southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands

Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • The central Bahamas
  • Cuban provinces of Las Tunas, Holguin, Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, and Granma

As for Tropical Storm Marco, the National Hurricane Center says the system continues to gain strength.

Marco is packing maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, moving north-northwest across the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Storm surge and hurricane watches are in effect for portions of the northern gulf coast.

Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Province of Pinar del Rio Cuba
  • Cancun to Dzilam Mexico

Forecasters have predicted that this season will have more activity than normal.

For example, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an above-average season, with 13 to 19 named storms. Six to 10 of those would become hurricanes and three to six of those are forecasted to become major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). 

In comparison, the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season had 18 named storms, matching 1969 for the fourth most-lively season in the past 150 years.

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs until Nov. 30.

Download the FOX 35 Weather App to track the tropics on your phone, receive severe weather alerts, and get the latest daily forecasts. 

Watch FOX 35 News for the latest updates. 

Read More: Tropical Storms Laura, Marco likely to hit Louisiana within days of each other

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