SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – 1 pm Monday Advisory Update: The latest advisories from the National Hurrican Center show that Tropical Storm Marco has weakened. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to 40 mph as the storm slowly moves to the NW at 6 mph. The storm is expected to continue to weaken to a depression this afternoon as it makes landfall ESE of New Orleans this evening. It will then continue to move WNW across southern Louisiana. Given its weaker state and small size, it is not expected to bring any significant impacts to our area.
Tropical Storm Laura has not changed during the past few hours. It still has maximum winds of 60 mph as it moves towards the WNW at 20 mph. It is expected to strengthen to a hurricane Tuesday. Landfall is expected ted over SW Louisiana south of Lake Charles Wednesday night as a Category 2 hurricane with max winds of at least 105 mph. The storm will then move across the south and eastern sections of the ArkLaTex Thursday. We still expect to see hurricane-force gusts over the southern edge of the area Thursday morning and tropical-storm-force gusts over the eastern half of the area as it moves north. This could cause some power issues. Much of the area will receive anywhere from five to seven inches of rainfall causing flash flooding. Conditions will improve Thursday night as the storm moves through Arkansas.
10 am Monday Advisory update: After days of uncertainty, we are starting to get a better picture of how 2 storms in the Gulf of Mexico will impact the ArkLaTex this week. It looks like most of the impacts from Marco will occur Tuesday, with Laura bringing the most significant punch of weather on Thursday.
Monday will be the calm before the storm with sunny skies in the morning turning partly cloudy as tropical air moves into the region during the afternoon. It will be a very hot day, with highs in the low to mid 90s. The tropical air will bring a surge in humidity as well. It is possible we could see a few late day showers south of I-20, but more likely rain and scattered storms will increase Tuesday associated with Tropical Storm Marco.
Tropical Storm Marco:
Tropical Storm Marco is expected to turn west and hug the Louisiana coastline today and tomorrow as a Tropical Storm before weakening into a Tropical Depression Tuesday evening. It is a small storm so we aren’t expecting any wind impacts in the ArkLaTex, but the outer bands will bring scattered thunderstorms throughout the day Tuesday. Sometimes you can see brief spin-up tornadoes with these systems, but that isn’t looking to be much of a threat in the ArkLaTex. These should be typical summer thunderstorms with lightning, brief heavy downpours, and a few high wind gusts. Some areas could receive 1 to 2+ inches of rain in Louisiana and east Texas.
We should see rain from Marco wind down late Tuesday into Wednesday morning. There will be little time between Marco moving out and Laura moving in. We will likely begin to see some of the outer bands of Laura bring rain and thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon with most of the impacts expected Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
Tropical Storm/Hurricane Laura:
Laura is forecast to become a strong hurricane, possible a category 2 or 3 at landfall along the southwest Louisiana coastline Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
The current track would take the center of Laura across northwest Louisiana and southern Arkansas during the daylight hours Thursday. This is when we will see heavy rain, the potential for isolated tornadoes, and even a few hurricane-force wind gusts in northwest Louisiana (in excess of 70 miles per hour). These storms will be capable of bringing tree and power line damage.
Heavy rain and flash flooding is a potential concern as Laura passes through. As Laura exits the region it may pull the remnants of Marco back through the ArkLaTex Friday and into the weekend. As a result, scattered showers may continue late this week and into the weekend.