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Laura and Marco building in the tropics. Are either hurricane material?

2 areas of concern are designated 97L and 98L, both expected to become tropical storms, maybe much more

On deck, Laura and Marco
On deck, Laura and Marco

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The National Hurricane Center is gearing up for two storms, both in the formative stage. Both may or may not develop, but conditions are becoming more and more favorable for development. Stay alert, as one, 98L, is likely to threaten the Florida coastline in just six days.

2020 - The year of impossibilities

Including the current hurricane season, where we have already had a record 11 named storms, including two hurricanes. The last hurricane, Isaias, caused about $4 billion in damage up the East Coast from Wilmington, North Carolina to the Canadian border. That may have just been the beginning of a long stretch of storms to impact the United States, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Islands. The current seasonal estimate by Colorado State is for 25 named storms, that’s 14 more! Worse, is that they are still expecting four to six major hurricanes.

Whether or not that forecast plays out or not, doesn’t matter. The season is likely to be one of the most active and possibly severe/damaging we have seen since 2017 with Irma, Maria and Harvey. Those three major hurricanes caused a combined $300 Billion in damage and thousands of deaths (both directly and indirectly).

97L is just north of Venezuela traveling westward towards the Western Caribbean Sea. It is there on Friday, that the system will have the chance to organize.

Meanwhile, to the east, is 98L which will also languish the next 36 hours. Thereafter, just as it is approaching the Northern Lesser Antilles, including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will likely develop into a tropical storm.

Which will become a tropical storm first? Well, whatever one does, it will be named Laura and the other Marco.

Then the next big question? Are they hurricane material? We will know a lot more by Friday evening. Keep aware of the tropics all weekend!

Tropical systems 97L and 98L

About the Author:

Our chief meteorologist lives and breathes the weather on the First Coast.