Tropical Storm Marco landed near the mouth of the Mississippi River, but it was Tropical Storm Laura that helped residents of Louisiana and Texas prepare for what could be the strongest storm since Hurricane Rita in 2005, still ranked as the most intense tropical cyclone on record in the Gulf of Mexico.
The National Hurricane Center says Marco is no longer a tropical storm and quickly lost wind speed and organization as it approached southern Louisiana.
The storm was currently sustaining winds of 35 mph.
Unlike Marco, who has weakened throughout the day, Tropical Storm Laura is gaining momentum. Officials expect it to land near southern Louisiana or the east coast of Texas as late as Wednesday as a Category 2 storm, if not stronger.
Starting Monday night, the New Orleans arm of the National Weather Service warned Laura’s path would likely lead it into the Gulf by nightfall and turn into a hurricane over the water on Tuesday. .
Early predictions predicted a landing near the Florida beggar.
Louisiana Gov. Bel Edwards urged people to take advantage of a day’s window before Laura strikes to prepare for the hurricane. At an evening press conference, the governor warned residents to expect heavy rain, storm surges and the possibility of tornadoes, “including areas outside the storm’s central path,” said the WWNO member station.
“Everyone should understand that it will be a very big and very powerful storm,” he said.
Meanwhile, Marco hit the edge of the Mississippi River in Louisiana around 6 p.m. local time with maximum winds of 40 mph, NBC affiliate WDSU reported.
The National Weather Service says data indicates Marco is producing tropical storm winds in a small area, but will likely subside in the next few hours as the storm moves along the Louisiana coast. .
Heavy rains will continue along parts of the north-central Gulf coast until Monday evening.
At a previous media briefing, National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham noted that Laura is expected to harvest energy from the warm waters of the Gulf.
The new prediction predicts Laura will soak in some of the same parts of Louisiana that Marco will bathe earlier this week.
Torrential rain from Marco has already reached much of the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama and Georgia, dropping 8-9 inches of rain from the center. He has to do the same when he crosses Louisiana and arrives in Texas.
🌀 Here is the 10pm Advisories from @NHC_Atlantic for Tropical Storm #Laura & now Tropical Depression #Marco. Laura is beginning to emerge into the Gulf of Mexico while Marco is expected to become a remnant low Tuesday. #LAwx #MSwx pic.twitter.com/5EvPY1FHqQ
— NWS New Orleans (@NWSNewOrleans) August 25, 2020
It was the result, Graham said, of a strong wind shear that tilted Marco and “pushed all that moisture and convection east.”
By the end of this week, “Laura is expected to produce precipitation of 4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches over parts of the west-central Gulf Coast of the United States near the Texas border. Louisiana “and in interior areas indicates the center of the hurricanes.
Laura, which is located just south of Cuba, is expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico soon, where water temperatures are among the warmest in the world.
Latest 7 PM CDT update for Tropical Storm #Laura. #Laura is expected to move into the Gulf tonight and strengthen into a hurricane during the day tomorrow. Remain vigilant of #Laura over the next couple of days. #lawx #mswx pic.twitter.com/ucDYgKS8mo
— NWS New Orleans (@NWSNewOrleans) August 25, 2020
Meteorologists say these conditions will lead to a rapid intensification.
It currently has sustained winds of 65 mph. Laura is expected to be near or at the force of a “bigger” hurricane of 110 mph or more when she lands. A “hurricane clock” is now being issued along parts of Texas and Louisiana.
Tropical Storm Marco (top) weakens as it approaches the Gulf Coast in Louisiana, while Tropical Storm Laura (bottom right) – currently just south of Cuba – is on its way to becoming a hurricane .
NOAA / NESDIS / STAR GOES East
Laura’s worst impact in the United States will occur from Wednesday night through Friday. Federal forecasters say its heavy rains could trigger “widespread urban lightning and flooding” and cause some streams and rivers to flood.
For #Laura, conditions are likely to begin deteriorating along the northern Gulf coast on Wednesday, but they could begin as early as Tuesday night for some areas. If you live near the #Louisiana or upper #Texas coasts, TODAY and TUESDAY are the days to prepare for the storm! pic.twitter.com/uqkmql4JOM
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 24, 2020
Laura has triggered tropical storm warnings in parts of the Cayman Islands and Cuba, as well as the Florida Keys from Craig Key to Key West and further west to Dry Tortugas National Park.
The biggest threat for Marco now is from the rain. The storm could produce “accumulations of 2 to 4 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 7 inches across parts of the northeastern and north-central coasts of the Gulf through Tuesday,” according to the hurricane center.
Meteorologists halted all coastal warnings or warnings on Monday al