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Nicholas Strengthens to a Hurricane near Texas Coast

Former Tropical Storm Nicholas strengthened to a hurricane near the Texas coast on Monday night. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Nicholas was located at latitude 28.4°N and longitude 95.8°W which put it about 45 miles (75 km) southwest of Freeport, Texas. Nicholas was moving toward the north-northeast at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were’ wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 988 mb.

A Hurricane Waring was in effect for the portion of the coast from Port O’Connor to Freeport, Texas. A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Freeport to San Luis Pass, Texas. Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Port Aransas to Port O’Connor, Texas and from Freeport to Sabine Pass, Texas. The Tropical Storm Warning included Galveston.

Former Tropical Storm Nicholas strengthened to a hurricane on Monday night. An upper level ridge over the Gulf of Mexico enhanced upper level divergence to the northeast of Nicholas. The enhanced upper level divergence pumped away more mass and the surface pressure at the center of Nicholas decreased to 988 mb on Monday evening. The decreased pressure increased the pressure difference and a larger pressure gradient force caused the wind speed to gradually increase to hurricane force.

The circulation around Hurricane Nicholas was still asymmetrical. Drier air was wrapping around the southern side of Nicholas’ circulation and the precipitation was falling in the north half of the hurricane. The strongest winds were occurring in the eastern half of Hurricane Nicholas. Winds to hurricane force extended out 25 miles (40 km) in the northeastern quadrant of Nicholas. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 115 miles (185 km) on the eastern side of Hurricane Nicholas. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 45 miles on the western side of the hurricane.

Hurricane Nicholas will move around the western end of a high pressure system that extends over the Gulf of Mexico. The high pressure system will steer Nicholas toward the north-northeast during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Nicholas could make landfall near Freeport, Texas in a few hours. Hurricane Nicholas will bring strong winds to the coast of Texas between Matagorda and Port Arthur. Scattered power outages are likely. Nicholas will drop heavy rain over parts of southeastern Texas and over Louisiana on Tuesday. Flash floods could occur in some locations. Southerly winds blowing on the east side of Hurricane Nicholas will push water toward the coast. Those winds could cause a storm surge of up to 7 feet (2 meters). The water level will rise along the coast of southwest Louisiana too.

Tropical Storm Nicholas Nears Texas Coast

Tropical Storm Nicholas neared the coast of Texas on Monday morning. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was located at latitude 26.4°N and longitude 96.8°W which put it about 140 miles (225 km) south of Port O’Connor, Texas. Nicholas was moving toward the north at 12 m.p.h. (19km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were’ wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Port Aransas to San Luis Pass, Texas. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mouth of the Rio Grande River to Sabine Pass, Texas. The Tropical Storm Warning included Corpus Christi and Galveston.

The center of Tropical Storm Nicholas reorganized several times on Monday. Each time a new center formed farther to the north-northeast. The new centers formed on the southern sides of clusters of stronger thunderstorms. The inner end of a rainband appeared to be wrapping around the northern side of the most recent center of circulation. Other bands of stronger thunderstorms were occurring north and east of the center of Nicholas. Bands to the south and west of the center consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. The strongest winds were occurring in the eastern half of Tropical Storm Nicholas. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 115 miles (185 km) on the eastern side of Nicholas. The winds in the western half of the circulation were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Nicholas will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 12 hours. Nicholas will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30˚C. It will move between and upper level trough over northern Mexico and an upper level ridge over the Gulf of Mexico. The upper trough and ridge will produce southerly winds that will blow toward the top of Nicholas’ circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification. The upper level low will move west and weaken during the next 12 hours. The upper level ridge will extend northwest over Tropical Storm Nicholas. When the ridge extends over Nicholas the upper level winds will weaken. When the upper level winds weaken, the vertical wind shear will decrease. Tropical Storm Nicholas will strengthen when that occurs. If a more well defined center develops and persists in the middle of Nicholas, the it could strengthen more quickly. There is a chance that Nicholas could intensify to a hurricane later on Monday.

Tropical Storm Nicholas will move around the western side of a high pressure system that extends over the Gulf of Mexico. The high will steer Nicholas toward the north during the next 12 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Nicholas will approach the central coast of Texas on Monday night. Nicholas will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to coastal areas of northeast Texas on Monday night. The strongest winds and the heaviest rain will occur before the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas makes landfall. The strongest winds will occur on the eastern side of Nicholas’ circulation. Scattered power outages could occur along the Upper Texas Coast and in southwestern Louisiana. Tropical Storm Nicholas could also cause a storm surge of up to 7 feet (2 meters) along portions of the coast. Nicholas will move toward the northeast on Tuesday. Locally heavy rain will fall over Louisiana. Flash floods could occur in some locations.

Tropical Storm Nicholas Prompts Hurricane Watch for Texas

A potential threat posed by Tropical Storm Nicholas prompted the issuance of a Hurricane Watch for a portion of the Texas coast on Sunday. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was located at latitude 22.5°N and longitude 95.5°W which put it about 260 miles (415 km) south-southeast of the Mouth of the Rio Grande River. Nicholas was moving toward the north at 2 m.p.h. (3 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were’ wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Port Aransas to Freeport, Texas. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Barra el Mezquital, Mexico to High Island Texas. The Tropical Storm Warning included Corpus Christi and Galveston. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from High Island to Sabine Pass, Texas.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Nicholas was poorly organized. There was a broad center of circulation in the middle of Nicholas. Several smaller cyclonic circulations were revolving around inside the broad center. Many of the thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the northern half of Tropical Storm Nicholas. Bands in the southern half of Nicholas consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 115 miles (185 km) in the northeastern quadrant of Tropical Storm Nicholas. The winds in the other parts of Nicholas’ circulation were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Nicholas will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Nicholas will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30˚C. It will move between and upper level low over northern Mexico and an upper level ridge over the northwestern Caribbean Sea. The upper low and ridge will produce southerly winds that will blow toward the top of Nicholas’ circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification. The upper level low will move west and weaken on Monday. The upper level ridge will extend west over Tropical Storm Nicholas. When the ridge extends over Nicholas the upper level winds will weaken. When the upper level winds weaken, the vertical wind shear will decrease. Tropical Storm Nicholas will strengthen when that occurs. If a more well defined center develops in the middle of Nicholas, the it could strengthen more quickly. There is a chance that Nicholas could intensify to a hurricane later on Monday.

Tropical Storm Nicholas will move around the western side of a high pressure system that extends over the Gulf of Mexico. The high will steer Nicholas toward the north-northwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Nicholas will approach the coast near the Mouth of the Rio Grande River on Monday. Nicholas will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to coastal areas of northern Mexico and east Texas on Monday. Tropical Storm Nicholas could also cause a storm surge of up to 7 feet (2 meters) along portions of the coast. It is possible that a new center of circulation could develop closer to the thunderstorms in the northern half of Tropical Storm Nicholas. If a new center develops farther to the north, that could increase the threat to northeastern Texas and western Louisiana.

Tropical Storm Nicholas Forms over Southwest Gulf of Mexico

Tropical Storm Nicholas formed over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday morning. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was located at latitude 20.5°N and longitude 94.8°W which put it about 405 miles (645 km) south-southeast of the Mouth of the Rio Grande River. Nicholas was moving toward the north-northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were’ wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the portion of the coast from Barra el Mezquital, Mexico to Port Aransas, Texas. A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from Port Aransas to High Island, Texas.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance plane found sustained winds of tropical storm force in a low pressure system over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday morning and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Storm Nicholas. The circulation around Tropical Storm Nicholas was still organizing. Thunderstorms began to form near the center of Nicholas. Thunderstorms were also developing in bands revolving around the center of circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) in the northeastern quadrant of Tropical Storm Nicholas. The winds in the other parts of the circulation were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Nicholas will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Nicholas will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30˚C. It will move between and upper level low over northern Mexico and an upper level ridge over the northwestern Caribbean Sea. The upper low and ridge will produce south-southwesterly winds that will blow toward the top of Nicholas’ circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification. The upper level winds are forecast to weaken on Monday and Tropical Storm Nicholas could strengthen more quickly when that occurs. There is a chance that Nicholas could intensify to a hurricane on Monday.

Tropical Storm Nicholas will move around the western side of a high pressure system that extends over the Gulf of Mexico. The high will steer Nicholas toward the north-northwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Nicholas will approach the coast near the Mouth of the Rio Grande River on Monday. Nicholas will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to coastal areas of northern Mexico and southern Texas on Monday. Tropical Storm Nicholas could also cause a storm surge of up to 7 feet (2 meters) along portions of the coast.

Tropical Storm Marco Weakens Near Louisiana

Tropical Storm Marco weakened near Louisiana on Monday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Marco was located at latitude 28.5°N and longitude 88.5°W which put it about 55 miles (90 km) southeast of the Mouth of the Mississippi River.  Marco was moving toward the north-northwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

An upper level trough over Texas produced strong southwesterly winds which sheared the top off of Tropical Storm Marco on Monday morning.  Stronger thunderstorms were confined to a few bands northeast of the center of circulation.  Bands around the center and in other parts of Marco consisted of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to tropical storm force were only occurring in the thunderstorms northeast of the center.

Since the wind shear is expected to continue, the circulation around Tropical Storm Marco is expected to spin down.  As Marco weakens it will be steer more by the winds in the lower atmosphere.  A subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean is expected to expand to the west during the next several days.  The high will turn the low level circulation of Tropical Storm Marco more toward the west.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Marco will make landfall over southeastern Louisiana on Monday night.  Marco will bring gusty winds and some rain, but its impact is likely to be minor.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Laura was moving near the south coast of Cuba.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Laura was located at latitude 21.2°N and longitude 80.6°W which put it about 65 miles east-southeast of Cayo Largo, Cuba.  Laura was moving toward the west-northwest at 20 m.p.h. (32 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the Florida Keys from Craig Key to Key West and for the Dry Tortugas.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.  Tropical Storm Warnings were also in effect for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Las Tunas, Ciego De Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Mayabeque, La Habana, Artemisa, Pinar Del Rio and Isle of Youth.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Laura was not as well organized on Monday morning.  Passage of Hispaniola and eastern Cuba disrupted the northern half of the circulation.  The strongest thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the southern half of the circulation.  Bands in the northern half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 175 miles (280 km) on the eastern side of Laura.  The winds on the western side of the circulation were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Laura will move near the south coast of Cuba for another 18 hours.  Since nearly half the circulation will be blowing across Cuba, it will continue to disrupt the northern half of the tropical storm.  Laura will move over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday.  When Tropical Storm Laura reaches the Gulf, it will move into a very favorable environment.  Laura will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move into a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Laura will intensify into a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico and it could rapidly strengthen into a major hurricane.  Laura is expected to move over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday.

Marco Strengthens to a Hurricane, Laura Drenches Hispaniola

Former Tropical Storm Marco strengthened into a hurricane on Sunday over the Gulf of Mexico while Tropical Storm Laura dropped drenching rain on Hispaniola.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Marco was located at latitude 25.3°N and longitude 87.4°W which put it about 280 miles (450 km) south-southeast of the Mouth of the Mississippi River.  Marco was moving toward the north-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 992 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mouth of the Pearl River, Mississippi.  Hurricane Watches were in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to Morgan City and for New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Alabama/Florida border.

Former Tropical Storm Marco strengthened into a hurricane on Sunday.  A small eye developed at the center of circulation.  A ring of thunderstorms surrounded eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Marco.  Storms near the core generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the northeast of the hurricane.

The circulation around Hurricane Marco was small.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 15 miles (25 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 70 miles (110 km) from the center.

Hurricane Marco will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 18 hours.  Marco will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level trough over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of Hurricane Marco.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent Marco from strengthening during the next 18 hours.

The upper level trough and a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean will steer Hurricane Marco toward the north-northwest during the next day or so.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Marco will approach southeast Louisiana on Monday.  Marco will bring gusty winds and drop locally heavy rain over southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Laura dropped heavy rain on the Dominican Republic and Haiti.  There were reports of flash floods.  At 2:00 pm. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Laura was located at latitude 19.4°N and longitude 74.3°W which put it about 80 miles (130 km) southeast of Guantanamo, Cuba.  Laura was moving toward the west-northwest at 21 m.p.h. (33 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portion of the northern coast of the Dominican Republic from Samana to the border with Haiti and for the entire coast of Haiti.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the Turks and Caicos, the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, and the Ragged Islands.  Tropical Storm Warnings were also in effect for the Cuban provinces of Las Tunas, Holguin, Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Carla, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Mayabeque, La Habana, Artemisa, Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the Florida Keys to the Isle of Youth.  Tropical Storm Watches were also in effect for the Central Bahamas and Andros Island.

Tropical Storm Marco Strengthens, Hurricane Watch for New Orleans

Tropical Storm Marco strengthened on Saturday and a Hurricane Watch was issued for a portion of the central Gulf Coast.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Marco was located at latitude 21.9°N and longitude 68.1°W which put it about 50 miles (80 km) west of the western tip of Cuba.  Marco was moving toward the north-northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 992 mb.

A Hurricane Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and New Orleans.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Alabama/Florida border.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the Cuban province of Pinar del Rio.

Tropical Storm Marco exhibited much better organization on Saturday.  Weather radar on a reconnaissance plane and from Cuba as well as visible satellite images indicated that a small eye developed at the center of Marco.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Tropical Storm Marco.  Storms near the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping away to the north of the tropical storm.  The circulation around Marco was small.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) to the east of the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force only extended out 50 miles (80 km) on the western side of the tropical storm.

Tropical Storm Marco will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the nextt 24 hours.  Marco will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move east of an upper level trough over the Gulf of Mexico.  The trough will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear is not likely to be enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Storm Marco is likely to intensify into a hurricane during the next 24 hours.  Since he circulation around Marco is small, the tropical storm could strengthen or weaken quickly if the environment changes.

The upper level trough and a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean will steer Tropical Storm Marco toward the north-northwest during the next 36 to 48 hours.  On its anticipated track Marco could approach southeastern Louisiana by Monday afternoon.  Marco could be a hurricane when it approaches the coast.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Laura dropped heavy rain over Puerto Rico and it prompted the issuance of a Tropical Storm Watch for the Florida Keys.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Laura was located at latitude 18.0°N and longitude 68.1°W which put it about 125 miles (200 km) east-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  Laura was moving toward the west at 18 m.p.h. (30 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the northern coast of Hispaniola from Le Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti to Cabo Engano, Dominican Republic.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the Turks and Caicos, the Acklins, Long Key, Crooked Island, the Inaguas, and the Ragged Islands.  A Tropical Storm Warning was also in effect for the Cuban provinces of Las Tunas, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo and Granma.

A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to Key West.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for the Central Bahamas and for Andros Island.

Tropical Storm Marco is forecast to move over HIspaniola and the mountains there are likely to disrupt the circulation.

TD 14 Strengthens into Tropical Storm Marco

Former Tropical Depression Fourteen strengthened into Tropical Storm Marco over the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Friday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Marco was located at latitude 18.7°N and longitude 84.9°W which puts it about 180 miles (290 km) southeast of Cozumel, Mexico.  Marco was moving toward the north-northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1003 mb.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Punta Herrero to Cancun, Mexico.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Punta Herrero to Dzilam, Mexico.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance aircraft found winds to tropical storm force in former Tropical Depression Fourteen and the National Hurricane Center upgraded the system to Tropical Storm Marco.  More thunderstorms developed near the center of Marco.  Many of the thunderstorms were occurring in short bands northeast of the center of circulation.  The strongest winds were occurring in those bands.  Storms near the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the northeast of the tropical storm.  Winds to tropical storm force extended 80 miles (130 km) to the northeast of Marco.  The winds in the other parts of the tropical storm were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Marco will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Marco will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move east of a large upper level trough over the Gulf of Mexico.  The trough will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of Tropical Storm Marco.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Marco will intensify on Saturday and it could strengthen quickly because the circulation is small.  Tropical Storm Marco could also weaken quickly if the center moves over the Yucatan Peninsula.

Tropical Storm Marco will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean.  The high and the upper level trough will interact to steer Marco toward the northwest during the next 24 to 36 hours.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Marco could pass near the northeastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula on Saturday.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, disorganized Tropical Storm Laura sped across the northern Leeward Islands on Friday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Laura was located at latitude 17.0°N and longitude 84.9°W which put it about 195 miles (315 km) east-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Laura was moving toward the west-northwest at 18 m.p.h. (30 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, the north coast of HIspaniola from Le Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti to Cabo Engano, Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos, the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, and the Ragged Islands.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the Central Bahamas.

Tropical Storm Laura Develops, Warnings for Puerto Rico and Leeward Islands

Tropical Storm Laura developed east of the northern Leeward Islands on Friday morning.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Laura was located at latitude 17.0°N and longitude 60.2°W which put it about 210 miles (335 km) east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands.  Laura was moving toward the west at 18 m.p.h. (30 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, the British Virgin Islands, the U. S, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra.

Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for the portion of the north coast of Hispaniola from Le Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti to Cabron, Dominican Republic and for the Turks and Caicos, the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, and the Ragged Islands.

A NOAA plane found winds to tropical storm force in former Tropical Depression Thirteen on Friday morning and the National Hurricane Center upgraded the system to Tropical Storm Laura.  Even though the plane found winds to tropical storm force, the circulation around Tropical Storm Laura was not well organized. There were several clusters of thunderstorms in the northern half of the circulation, but there were fewer thunderstorms in the southern half of Laura.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 150 miles (240 km) on the northern side of the tropical storm.  The winds in the southern half of the circulation were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Laura will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Laura will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  The lack of organization of the circulation around Laura will limit how quickly the tropical storm can intensify.  Tropical Storm Laura is likely to get stronger during the next 24 hours.

Tropical Storm Laura will move south of a subtropical high pressure system over the North Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Laura toward the west-northwest during the next several days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Laura will move across the northern Leeward Islands later today.  Laura could reach Puerto Rico by Saturday.  Tropical Storm Laura will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to the islands when it passes over them.

Elsewhere, Tropical Depression Fourteen was getting more organized over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Depression Fourteen was located at latitude 16.6°N and longitude 84.1°W which put it about 325 miles (525 km) southeast of Cozumel, Mexico.  The depression was moving toward the northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Punta Herrero to Cancun, Mexico.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the Bay Islands, Honduras and from Punta Herrero to Cancun, Mexico.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Cancun to Dzilam, Mexico.

Tropical Depression Fourteen Forms Over Western Caribbean

Tropical Depression Fourteen formed over the western Caribbean Sea on Thursday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Depression Fourteen was located at latitude 15.1°N and longitude 79.7°W which put it about 235 miles (375 km) east of Cabo Gracias a Dios.  The depression was moving toward the west at 21 m.p.h. (33 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the portion of the coast of Honduras from the border with Nicaragua to Punta Castilla including the Bay Islands.

Satellite images on Thursday morning indicated that a center of circulation had developed within a tropical wave over the western Caribbean Sea and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Depression Fourteen.  The circulation around Tropical Depression Fourteen was still organizing.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing and they were beginning to revolve around the center of circulation.  Storms near the center started to generate upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the depression.

Tropical Depression Fourteen will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 36 to 48 hours.  The depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and the will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Depression Fourteen will strengthen during the next day or two.

Tropical Depression Fourteen will move around the southwester part of a subtropical high pressure system over the North Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer the depression toward the west-northwest during the next 24 hours.  The depression will turn toward the northwest on Friday when it gets closer to the western end of the high.  On its anticipated track Tropical Depression Fourteen will pass near the coast of Honduras on Friday.  It will approach the Yucatan Peninsula on Saturday.  The depression could drop heavy rain over eastern Honduras and flash floods will be possible.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean,, Tropical Depression Thirteen was speeding toward the northern Leeward Islands.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Depression Thirteen was located at latitude 16.0°N and longitude 52.0°W which put it about 750 miles (1205 km) east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands.  The depression was moving toward the west-northwest at 21 m.p.h. (33km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Barbuda and Anguilla.