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If forecasts are correct, we could see something that has never happened before: two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time. We have seen two systems in the gulf before. There were two tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico back in 1959, one named Beulah and the other an unnamed storm. And in 1933, a Hurricane and Tropical Storm both hit the U.S.
Tropical Depression Thirteen officially strengthened into Tropical Storm Laura around 9 a.m. Friday. The system has triggered Tropical Storm Watches for the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The track for Laura shifted to the west with the 5 a.m. update on Friday putting landfall anywhere from western Florida and Louisiana.
Laura now has maximum sustained winds at 45 miles per hour. Models for this storm vary from it making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane to it falling apart before reaching the U.S. As time goes along, the forecast should become more clear.
Laura is still about three days out before reaching the U.S. The system is slated to bring some storm surge, rainfall and wind impact to portions of Hispaniola, Cuba, the Bahama this weekend and early next week.
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Tropical Depression Fourteen formed Thursday morning about 235 miles east of Cabo Gracias a Dios, which is located on the border of Honduras and Nicaragua.
It has maximum winds of 35 mph and is moving west-northwest at 12 miles per hour. It is also expected to strengthen into a tropical storm; that could take place sometime Friday. The spaghetti models differ on Fourteen, leaving some question marks surrounding its path.
Whichever storm becomes a tropical storm first will be named Laura. If a second storm materializes into a tropical storm, that one will be named Marco. Despite their current numerical designation, it is possible for Tropical Depression Fourteen to become Laura and Tropical Depression Thirteen to become Marco.
Tropical Depression Fourteen’s current track takes it across the coast of Honduras and then over part of Mexico. The storm then heads back over water in the Gulf of Mexico, where it could track into Texas or Louisiana.
Changes in the track for both systems are possible. At this time, neither system is expected to make landfall in North Carolina. We could see rain from both systems as they move back to the north mid to late week.
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