We’re set for a pretty crazy and complicated three days in the Gulf of Mexico. There will be two storms impacting generally the same area, about 36-48 hours apart.
First is Tropical Storm Marco, which is almost a hurricane. It has winds of 70 mph and is forecast to strengthen to a hurricane before making landfall Monday mid-morning to mid-afternoon. It is unlikely that it will strengthen too much before it makes landfall in southeastern Louisiana or Mississippi. Either way, there will be minor to moderate storm surge and flooding from this storm. The problem is this: Marco will be followed 36-48 hours later by Tropical Storm Laura.
Marco was nearing hurricane strength as it crossed the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said 8 a.m. ET Sunday.
Laura is over Haiti right now and will run along and probably over Cuba for the next day. After that, it has a very good chance to rapidly strengthen and as of now is forecast to be a CAT 2 when it makes landfall somewhere around 50-100 miles west of Marco from central Louisiana to eastern Texas. Landfall should be sometime between overnight Tuesday to Wednesday mid-day, depending on how far west it moves. Further west toward Texas would make for a later landfall. Some models make it a major hurricane and that is very possible.
The worst-case scenario is where Marco does some minor damage and weakens infrastructure, saturates land, and causes people to scramble before a much stronger second punch from Laura.
We’re in a very active hurricane season and still about three weeks from the peak. Water temperatures in the entire Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico are above average; in some cases toward the northeast the water is 5 to 7 degrees above average.
Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this article.