Florida, Tampa Bay Will Still Feel Impacts From Tropical Storms Marco And Laura
The Florida Panhandle and Keys are expected to experience the worst, while Tampa Bay will see rough surf and continued chances for thunderstorms.
While the west and northern Gulf Coast is expected to bear the brunt of Marco and Laura as they make their way north through the Gulf of Mexico, portions of Florida should prepare for at least some impact.
The greater Tampa Bay region, however, is forecast to remain largely unscathed.
Marco weakened into a tropical storm late Sunday night, and forecasters with the National Hurricane Center say wind shear will keep it from strengthening as it skirts the Louisiana and Texas coasts on Monday.
Meanwhile, Laura is poised to enter the Gulf of Mexico in the next 24 hours and forecast to intensify into a strong Category 2 hurricane with winds of 105 mph as it nears landfall Thursday morning near the Louisiana-Texas border.
Although Florida is not in danger of landfall from either storm, Florida Public Radio Emergency Network meteorologist Ray Hawthorne said both will impact portions of the state.
Marco is set to soak the Florida Panhandle on Monday, while the fringe effects of Laura are making its way over the Florida Keys.
“Marco experienced strong shear and is likely to weaken more, but heavy rain and flash flooding remain probable over the Panhandle [Monday],” Hawthorne said. “Meanwhile, Laura is set to strengthen once it reaches the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, but a few rain bands are likely to bring brief tropical storm force gusts to the Keys later [Monday] afternoon into [Monday night] before those winds diminish on Tuesday.”
The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Watches may be required for a portion of the northwestern Gulf coast ahead of Laura as soon as Monday.
While both storms remain well off Florida’s West Coast, they will stir up the Gulf waters, according to the National Weather Service.
Forecasters warn of hazardous boating conditions through midweek, along with dangerous rip currents. Laura also will generate breezy conditions and chances for afternoon thunderstorms remain intact. The region also is under a heat advisory, and this pattern could continue as Laura makes its way through the Gulf.
Information from the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network was used in this story.