Lastest NHC Forecasts Show Marco, Laura Slamming Louisiana

Updates on Tropical Storm Marco and Laura issued by the National Hurricane Center at 5 p.m. EDT show both storms aiming toward Louisiana at this point. That doesn’t mean the Houston Area is out of the woods. The forecasts has changed four times since yesterday. Here’s the latest from the NHC.

Latest Cones of Uncertainty for Marco and Laura

Houston is now only on the fringe of the cone of uncertainty for Marco.
Even though forecasts for Laura have been shifting steadily west, NHC now shows Houston outside the cone of uncertainty.

Note, however, the images above do not indicate the width of the storms, just their potential tracks up to five days out. The width of the cone indicates the degree of uncertainty about the track.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 km) from the center of Laura and 90 miles (150 km) from the center of Marco.

Intensity and Rainfall Predictions

Forecasters predicted Marco will become a hurricane tonight or Sunday, and remain at or near hurricane strength when it reaches the northern Gulf coast on Monday.

They also predict that Marco will dump 1 to 3 inches (isolated maximum amounts of 5 inches) on the Central U.S. Gulf Coast. This rainfall, they say, may result in areas of flash and urban flooding.

Tropical Storm Laura could bring additional rainfall and wind impacts by the middle of next week. This could result in a prolonged period of hazardous weather for areas affected by Marco.

Wind Predictions

We could feel the arrival of tropical storm force winds from Marco around mid-day on Monday.
Tropical storm force winds from Laura could be felt in Houston on Wednesday morning.
However, there’s only a 20-30% chance we will feel 40 mph winds from either Laura or Marco.

Rainfall and Flooding Predictions

At present, NOAA shows Marco dumping 2-6 inches of rain, mainly over the states east of us. (See below).

As of 4:50 EDT Saturday, NOAA is predicting less than an inch of rainfall for the Houston Area.

NOAA has not issued rainfall predictions yet for Laura. However, NOAA does give the Houston region a marginal (5%) chance of flash flooding from Marco.

As of 4:50 pm Saturday, NOAA predicts Houston has only a 5% chance of flash flooding from the storms.

Better Safe Than Sorry; How to Stay Up to Date

Forecasters for Laura emphasize that the second storm could result in a prolonged period of hazardous weather for areas affected by Marco.

NHC advises monitoring the progress of both storms several times a day until they pass. The NHC has started issuing updates every two to three hours for the duration of the storms.

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist, warns, “While the situation for SE TX is looking better this afternoon, it would be important to maintain a close watch on this system in the event it weakens significantly and the system becomes more steered by the low level flow.” That could shift it back in the direction of Houston.

You can also sign up for text alerts from Ready Harris: Text MARCO to 888777 for emergency alerts. Better safe than sorry.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/22/2020

1089 Days since Hurricane Harvey