SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Gulf is primed for the next storm to move through it. Water temperatures are about as hot as they get. Although Marco was weakened due to strong shear from the SW, Laura will have fairly good conditions to get stronger.
In fact some forecast models are suggesting a major storm will make landfall into either Texas or Louisiana late Wednesday. The latest track has shifted a little to the left or west due to high pressure building in over the E. Gulf of Mexico.
Marco is no longer a tropical storm. It made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi on Monday at 7 p.m.. The center is void of any significant strong storms at this time. Most of the heavy rain and winds are well east of the storms center.
It is expected to dissipate on Tuesday .
Laura on the other hand is now over the western tip of Cuba. It is expected to get into the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday. All along its forecast path are water temperatures in the upper 80′s to low 90′s. That is fuel necessary to make a big storm. The depth of that warm water is not too deep but it shouldn’t shunt it development too much.
The shear will be gone as well making for all the right ingredients for a strong hurricane.
We will not see many impacts from Laura as it passes well to our west. We will see some strong wave action crashing ashore resulting in some dangerous rip currents on our beaches through Wednesday.
Rip currents are very dangerous. Last year alone in Florida 28 people died from this fast moving stream of water that develops as the big wave action moves in.
If you ever feel like you are caught in one start to swim parallel to the shore line and get out of it as fast as you can. Do not swim directly back into the current. You will not be able to make any ground and will likely drowned.
A rip current advisory is in effect for our coast through Wednesday evening due to the high waves that Laura will generate as it moves toward the Texas and Louisiana over the next 2 days.
The forecast is calling for partly cloudy skies on Tuesday with breezy conditions. Winds will be out of the E/SE at 15-20 mph with higher gusts at times. The rain chance on Tuesday is 40% for some fast moving storms to rip through. The high on Tues. will be in the low to mid 90′s.
The heat index will once again be in the 103-107 degree range.
By Wednesday the waves will still be up but the winds will be relaxing down to 10 to 15 mph out of the SE. This will allow for some scattered late afternoon and early evening storms moving in from the inland areas toward the coast later in the day.
This pattern of late day storms will continue through Friday and then a shift again to morning storms near the coast and then move inland later in the day.
For boaters we will see E/SE winds at 20-25 kts. on Tuesday with a small craft advisory in effect for Gulf waters along the Suncoast.
Seas will be running 5-7 feet. The winds will tend to come down later in the day. Much better boating weather can be expected by Thursday as the waves will have subsided.