DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Wind shear continues to shred Tropical Storm Marco this today as it continues toward the North Central Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to make landfall in Louisiana as a weak tropical storm or a tropical depression within the next 12 hours. Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for the coasts of SE Louisiana and Mississippi. Effects from the storm have been far reaching across the Eastern Gulf: the Florida Panhandle had numerous Special Marine Warnings for possible waterspouts throughout the night and this morning, and the Tri-State has seen plenty of rain yesterday and today associated with this system. Despite it’s weakening trend, the Storm Prediction Center has put some of the Tri-State under a marginal risk (level 1 of 5) for tornadoes. We’ll continue monitoring this possibility throughout the day.
Tropical Storm Laura has remained relatively the same since the last update we gave overnight. The storm is still riding along and south of Cuba which has Tropical Storm Warnings for the majority of its coastlines. It’s path takes it over Western Cuba tonight and into the Gulf tomorrow. The chance for significant strengthening Tuesday and Wednesday still remains, and it’s current track continues to take it toward Louisiana; however, there has been a westward shift in the track so that it now includes Eastern Texas in the potential landfall zone. If you remember from last week, Laura was originally predicted to make landfall in southern Florida and the turn north and make a second landfall in the Panhandle. Instead, the subtropical ridge in the Western Atlantic has extended farther and farther to the west thus steering Laura away from us. That is why forecasters always say there is significant uncertainty in the forecast beyond 72 hours when it comes to tropical systems. This system in particular was very disorganized as it passed Puerto Rico and Hispaniola which made it even more difficult for the models to get a grip on the storm’s motion.