Marco will bring rain; Laura in the wings

Biloxi Police and Fire stood down their water-rescue teams today, as Marco seems to have fizzled out, but Emergency Manager Nick Geiser says the rains will come later today.

Skies were clear this morning, turning overcast this afternoon, with breezy conditions, a northeast wind 15 to 20 mph. However, forecasters expect rain – a 90 percent chance, they say – later, up to three-quarters of an inch, shy of the 2 inches forecast from Marco’s previous track.

The tropical storm and storm surge warnings issued for Marco have been discontinued, but a flash flood watch remains in effect until Tuesday morning.

“We still are expecting a good bit of rain this afternoon, from all of the forecasts we’re seeing,” said Geiser, a deputy chief in the Biloxi Fire Department. “We’re going to see a good rain, light wind, but nothing that we’re overly concerned about.”

Now, Geiser said, it’s all eyes on Laura, which is expedted to become a hurricane on Tuesday. The storm has winds of near 60 mph now. It is expected to move over the Caribbean Sea just offshore of the southern coast of Cuba this afternoon, cross western Cuba this evening, and move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico overnight.

Laura is then forecast to move over the central and northwestern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night and Wednesday, and approach the northwestern coast of the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday night. Little change in strength is forecast today, but strengthening is expected when the storm moves over the Gulf of Mexico.

“It’s forecast to be a Cat 2 right now, but reports are that it could intensity to a Cat 3,” Geiser said. “We’re expecting to see some impacts on Wednesday on into Thursday, but the key thing right now is when this storm will make a turn to the north.

“Right now, it’s churning west-northwest at 20 mph, but it is expected to make a turn to the north, which will give us a better idea on what to expect.”
Latest from the National Hurricane Center
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