The Gulf Coast is bracing for a devastating one-two punch, with two major storms, Marco and Laura, forecast to make landfall at hurricane strength in the coming days. It is very unusual for two major storms to hit the same coastal area in rapid succession.
Laura and Marco are the earliest L- and M-named storms recorded in the Atlantic basin. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is currently on track to rival 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, as the busiest on record.
The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning for the coast between Morgan City, south of Baton Rouge in Louisiana, and the mouth of the Pearl River on the border between Louisiana and Mississippi.
Forecast track and wind probabilities
This updating map shows the best predicted tracks and forecast winds from the two storms. Use the control at the top right to toggle between the likelihood of tropical-storm-force winds (more than 39 mph) and hurricane-force winds (more than 74 mph). Times shown are US Central Time for Marco and US Eastern Time for Laura.
Marco, which passed between Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and Cuba on Saturday, is currently expected to make landfall on Monday or Tuesday.
“Hurricane conditions are expected within the hurricane warning area by midday Monday,” the National Hurricane Center said on Sunday morning, warning of storm surges of up to 6 feet.
Laura is currently forecast to move along the island of Cuba before turning to the north, crossing the Gulf of Mexico and making landfall in Louisiana, also at hurricane strength, probably in the early hours of Thursday morning.
“This could result in a prolonged period of hazardous weather for areas that are likely to be affected by Marco earlier in the week,” the National Hurricane Center said on Sunday.
Forecast track and rain in the next 7 days
This updating map shows the best predicted tracks for Marco and Laura superimposed over forecast rain for the next seven days.
On Saturday, Laura dumped large amounts of rain onto Puerto Rico. The Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba are expected to receive 4 to 8 inches of rain with maximums of up to 12 inches in some areas.