As Marco fizzles, attention shifts to TS Laura

While Tropical Storm Marco weakened as it approached Louisiana’s coast and made landfall Monday, forecasters predict the second of the two approaching storms this week, Tropical Storm Laura, could strengthen into a major hurricane when it reaches land.

The National Hurricane Center issued a forecast Monday afternoon that Laura would make landfall near the Texas/Louisiana border as a Category 2 storm, likely to reach late Wednesday. The storm is expected to move into the Gulf Monday night and strengthen into a hurricane during the day Tuesday.

The region received a stroke of good fortune Monday as Marco, which strengthened to a hurricane over the weekend, dissipated back into a tropical storm before reaching land around 6 p.m. Monday. The NHC dropped all warnings associated with Marco earlier in the day. The storm could weaken to a tropical depression by midnight.

But it will still bring rain, and Gov. John Bel Edwards warned Louisiana citizens that relaxing too much in response to Marco’s fate would be a mistake with Laura on the horizon.

“I guess if I’ve got a message, it’s not to assume that Laura is going to do a similar favor, and the forecast for Laura remains very much like it was yesterday,” Edwards said.

The feared combo attack of back to back hurricanes, though, was not to be, Edwards describing Marco’s result a big break for the state.


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