The Gulf Coast will likely get walloped by 2 hurricanes this week as Marco and Laura intensify

Tropical Storm Marco has strengthened significantly and could hit Louisiana as a hurricane by Monday, according to the latest National Hurricane Center forecast. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Laura is moving away from western Puerto Rico and is expected to move over the island of Hispaniola, according to the center's latest advisory.

Posted: Aug 22, 2020 4:25 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2020 8:30 AM

The Gulf Coast will get pummeled by a pair of hurricanes this week, bringing torrential rain, fierce winds and ferocious storm surges.

First up: Tropical Storm Marco, which is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane Sunday before making landfall on the Louisiana coast Monday afternoon.

'This is the more imminent threat because it will make landfall first,' CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said.

Then there's Tropical Storm Laura, which is also expected to strengthen to a hurricane before it makes landfall in the US late Wednesday or early Thursday -- also on or near the Louisiana coast.

Parts of the Gulf Coast will get inundated from both the sea and the sky.

Life-threatening storm surge

The National Hurricane Center warned of 'life-threatening storm surge' Monday as Marco hurls walls of water to the Gulf Coast.

Storm surges are expected to be 4-to-6-feet high from central Louisiana east to Biloxi, Mississippi. That area includes New Orleans.

The rest of the Louisiana coast, the rest of the Mississippi coast and the Alabama Gulf Coast are expected to see 2-to-4-foot storm surges.

'Ultimately the big concern is going to be storm surge,' Chinchar said.

Torrential rain will also deluge the coast

Marco is expected to bring 'a tremendous amount of rain, not just to Louisiana, but areas of Mississippi, Alabama and even Florida,' Chinchar said.

New Orleans will get inundated by several inches of rain early this week.

'Then you have Laura making its way into the Gulf, shortly after Marco makes landfall,' Chinchar said.

'Even on Monday and Tuesday, Key West, Miami -- you're going to get some of those outer bands from Laura, producing very heavy rain and very gusty winds,' she said.

As of Sunday, 'Laura is over the Dominican Republic, dumping a tremendous amount of rain there.'

By the time Laura reaches the US coast, it's expected to be a Category 2 hurricane -- whipping maximum sustained winds of at least 96 mph. Laura is expected to impact many of the same areas that will be hit by Marco.

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Another mostly sunny and hot day for northern California today, quite similar to yesterday. Our weather will begin to change tomorrow, however, as a disturbance brings more clouds, cooler air, and a few showers and thunderstorms.
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