Puerto Rico Surfers Enjoy Large Waves Ahead of Tropical Storm Laura

Puerto Rico Surfers Enjoy Large Waves Ahead of Tropical Storm Laura”

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

As of 4 p.m. EST, Tropical Storm Marco is east of the Yucatan Peninsula with sustained winds of 65 miles per hour and is expected to develop into a Category 1 hurricane by Monday. The center warned of life-threatening storm surges and hurricane-force winds along the Gulf Coast.

The storm's maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 miles per hour with higher gusts, the forecaster added.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Laura is in the central Caribbean. A tropical storm warning remains in effect from Puerto Rico through Hispaniola and for much of Cuba.

Laura now is on track to hit Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Hispaniola and Cuba.

Laura, which hit the Dominican Republic and Haiti earlier on Sunday before striking Cuba on Sunday evening, is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane on Wednesday before making landfall in Texas or Louisiana on Thursday. In addition to strong winds, numerous most risky storms in recent years have brought tremendous amounts of rain - creating new threats to people and infrastructure far inland from the coast.

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Laura is expected to bring up to 8 inches of rain from Puerto Rico to Cuba. These downpours could lead to flash or urban flooding.

The track and intensity of Laura remain somewhat uncertain as we get into next week since Laura could interact with quite a bit of land this weekend.

On Sept. 4, the Treasure Coast Hurricane made landfall near the border of Palm Beach and Martin counties in Florida as a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of at least 140 miles per hour. This has resulted in Hurricane Watches and Tropical Storm Watches being issued for portions of LA, MS, and AL for the potential for tropical storm-force winds. "Basically we could have two hurricanes making landfall within the Gulf production region in the next couple of days."The double threat has already caused evacuations on off-shore energy platforms, and about 13% of oil and 4% of natural gas production have been shut in, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, part of the U.S. Department of the Interior". Locally heavy rainfall and storm surge flooding will be the primary hazards from these bands, and an isolated tornado can not be ruled out. Weakening is expected ahead of any landfall.

As Laura spins into the Gulf of Mexico, it could become a hurricane as it heads towards Louisiana around the middle of next week (one week shy of the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina). The area includes New Orleans.

"I am very proud of the way the residents of St. Bernard Parish have rallied together in the face of this weather event".

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