Tropical Storm Laura is expected to gain hurricane strength early Tuesday as it barrels northwest through the Gulf of Mexico with Houston in its potential path later this week.
Marco, which weakened into a tropical storm late Sunday, is expected to batter Louisiana and Mississippi with rain, wind and storm surge, leaving Texas mostly untouched.
Laura’s path remains uncertain, but “confidence should improve once the system moves into the Gulf,” according to the National Weather Service Houston/Galveston office.
Officials will likely issue hurricane and storm surge watches by Monday evening for portions of the northwest Gulf Coast.
Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County emergency officials will provide an update on Tropical Storm Laura and preparation instructions at a Monday afternoon news conference.
Forecasters project the storm will enter the southeastern Gulf of Mexico early Tuesday and turn northwest toward the Texas and Louisiana border by Wednesday, officials say.
The National Weather Service issued tropical storm warnings for portions of the Florida Keys as the storm spawns sustained winds of 65 mph.
It could dump up to 8 inches on Jamaica and Cuba and 1 to 2 inches on the Florida Keys and Cayman Islands through Tuesday, weather officials said.
Officials expect the storm to dump 5 to 10 inches of rain, with isolated spots hit by 15 inches, near the Texas and Louisiana border from late Wednesday to Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“This rainfall could cause widespread flash and urban flooding, small streams to overflow their banks, and the possibility of some minor river flooding across this region,” a public advisory warned.
Marco, meanwhile, is not expected to regain hurricane strength, according to the National Weather Service. It could further weaken into a tropical depression.
The storm is expected to approach the Louisiana coast Monday afternoon where it will move westward while losing strength, officials said. It could dissipate by Wednesday.
Hurricane warnings were discontinued and replaced with tropical storm warnings in Louisiana and Mississippi as of early Monday. Dangerous storm surge could still impact Morgan City, La. to Ocean Springs, Miss., officials said.
Main impacts of Marco in Texas would be at the beaches where increased surf and rip currents are likely starting Monday night.
Before coming to Houston, Anna covered breaking news for The San Francisco Chronicle metro desk. A Kansas City native, Anna graduated from the University of Oklahoma, where she studied English and worked at the OU Daily student newspaper.
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