Hurricane watches issued along Gulf Coast as Marco strengthens

Zack Watching Marco and Laura as they head for the Gulf

Two storms approaching the Gulf

It was moving west at 21 miles per hour, and forecasters from the National Hurricane Center believe Laura will strengthen into a hurricane on Tuesday or Wednesday as it approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Tropical Storms Laura and Marco were both projected to approach Louisiana at or close to hurricane force just two days apart next week. Seven to 11 of them are expected to become hurricanes and three to six of those to become major hurricanes with winds of at least 178km/h (111mph). The last time two tropical storms were in the Gulf together was in 1959, he said.

Two tropical storms with the potential to become hurricanes could slam the United States simultaneously next week.

Marco will move over the central Gulf of Mexico on Sunday and Monday, the center said. It was moving north-northwest at 13 miles per hour.

Tropical Storm Laura strengthened as it approached Puerto Rico on Saturday, August 22, the National Hurricane Center said, as residents reported heavy rain and strong winds in the early afternoon.

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The center of Tropical Storm Laura is likely to pass south of Florida, sparing most of the Sunshine State any direct impacts.

"Widespread minor to potential moderate river flooding is possible in Puerto Rico", warns NHC.

FOX 35's Glenn Richards has the current on Tropical Storms Laura and Marco.

Alabama will be on the east side of the center of the storm, and that could put the coastal areas in line for some of the highest surge depending on the strength of the storm and the tidal cycle, according to the hurricane center.

Tropical storms Laura and Marco have such bad and good environments ahead of them that their futures were not clear late Friday. A hurricane watch has been posted on the Louisiana coast.

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The last time two storms made landfall in the United States within 24 hours of each other was in 1933, Klotzbach said. If these forecasts verify, it would be only the third time on record since 1851 with two named storms in the Gulf.

Laura is expected to reach Puerto Rico Saturday morning and is expected to deliver up to six inches of rain through Sunday.

It was also whipping at Haiti, which shares Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, and forecast to move over Cuba on Sunday night or Monday.

In June, a weak Tropical Storm Cristobal knocked out about one-third of offshore oil and natural gas production in the gulf.

Laura will make landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday potentially as a category 2 hurricane along the northern Gulf Coast. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and headed to the same part of the US coast, also as a potential hurricane.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who declared a state of emergency Friday, asked President Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration.

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