It was 28 years ago Sunday that Hurricane Andrew was making its final approach towards South Florida. In the late afternoon, it had decimated part of the Bahamas. We knew it was coming, but we didn’t have any idea of what South Dade was going to look like 12 hours later.
It was 28 years ago, but it seems like it was just yesterday.
We do have a storm in the Atlantic, but the strongest part of Tropical Storm Laura is tracking south, which will allow the center of the storm to pass well south of South Florida and the Florida Keys. There are no Tropical Storm Warnings currently for Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach counties from this storm.
At 11 p.m., Laura was moving toward the west-northwest near 21 mph and this general motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected over the next couple of days. A turn toward the northwest is forecast by Wednesday.
Laura will bring wind gusts to the area Monday. Winds may gust near 40 mph in areas exposed to the ocean, high rises, and elevated roadways in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County. The strongest winds will come from the east and southeast. Marine interests should take special note.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect in the Keys for the POSSIBILITY of sustained winds over 40 mph, but mostly the tropical-storm force winds should come in gusts. It will take overnight into early Tuesday before the storm lets up in the lower Keys.
On the forecast track, the center of Laura will move near or over the southern coast of Cuba Sunday and Monday, and move over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico Monday night and Tuesday. Laura is expected to move over the central and northwestern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night and Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is expected, and Laura is forecast to become a hurricane by early Tuesday.
By late on Monday, Laura is forecast to be intensifying as it heads into the Gulf. It appears well enough organized to do that fairly quickly. Laura would seem to have plenty of time to become a formidable hurricane as it tracks toward the northern or northwestern Gulf coast.
A band of the coast including the Houston and New Orleans metropolitan areas are in the possible path of a significant Hurricane Laura that will come on shore as a Category 2, but it could be a Category 3.
TROPICAL STORM MARCO
As Marco approaches the Louisiana coast, the destructive upper winds are forecast to increasingly take their toll on the circulation. However, Marco is expected to bring storm surge and hurricane-force winds along portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast Monday.
Since New Orleans is inland from the coast, the winds should not be as strong there as in the coastal sections. This storm should not challenge the flood-protection levees around New Orleans, but many areas in southeastern Louisiana outside those levees are extremely vulnerable to storm surge, and will be affected by water levels 4 to 6 feet above normal high tide.
Marco is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 7 inches across the Central U.S. Gulf coast through Tuesday. This rainfall may result in scattered areas of flash and urban flooding along the Central U.S. Gulf Coast.