The National Hurricane Center has now upgraded Tropical Storm Marco to Hurricane Marco. Winds are now sustained at 75 mph, with higher gust. The storm is expected to make landfall very near New Orleans Monday afternoon. The storm is not expected to strengthen significantly before landfall, coming ashore with winds under 90 mph. That could change, but atmospheric conditions are expected to become more and more hostile for the storm.
Residents of New Orleans are being asked to complete their storm preparation plans. Some coastal communities are being asked to move inland.
The map below shows the wind effects expected from Marco. Thankfully, he is a small hurricane and rapid weakening is highly likely as soon as the storm comes ashore.
Then, we have Laura. She is already full of some surprises. The islands she is moving through currently have had little effect on Laura’s strength. That is a bit odd. It also makes many of us nervous for when she is exposed to the wide open, very warm waters of the Gulf Monday night. Unlike for Marco, the atmosphere is likely to be more hospitable for Laura. An interesting situation, for sure. It is possible that Laura could be a major hurricane at landfall.
Laura should bring us a better chance for rain by Thursday night. I’ll keep a close eye on things.