The 4PM CST update shows both storms are still forecast to become hurricanes in the upcoming days.
The path of TS Laura has shift more to the west, which places more of southeast Louisiana in the cone. It is currently forecast to make landfall on Wednesday afternoon as a hurricane.
The path of TD14 has shifted slightly more south, and it is still expected to become a tropical storm later today. Forecasting shows it gaining strength to a category 1 storm before losing intensity and striking the coast as a storm on Tuesday.
Tropical Storm Laura
At 5 p.m. AST, the center of Tropical Storm Laura was located over the Atlantic Ocean about 40 miles (65 km) east of Antigua. It’s moving toward the west near 17 mph (28 km/h), and a generally west-northwestward motion at a faster forward speed is expected over the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Laura will move near or over portions of the Leeward Islands later today, near or over Puerto Rico Saturday morning, and near the northern coast of Hispaniola late Saturday and early Sunday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center. Some slow strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.
The details of the long-range track and intensity forecasts remain more uncertain than usual since Laura is forecast to move near or over portions of the Greater Antilles through Monday. However, Laura could bring storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts to portions of Cuba, the Bahamas, and Florida early next week and the northeast U.S. Gulf Coast by the middle of next week. Interests there should monitor the progress of Laura and updates to the forecast over the next few days.
Tropical Depression Fourteen
At 5 p.m., EDT, the center of Tropical Depression Fourteen was located over the western Caribbean Sea about 255 miles (415 km) southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. It’s moving toward the northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h). A slower northwestward motion is expected over the next couple of days, followed by an increase in speed by Sunday and Monday. On the forecast track, the center of the system will approach the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico on Saturday, cross the northeastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Saturday night, and then move over the central Gulf of Mexico toward the northwestern Gulf on Sunday and Monday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast to occur during the next couple of days, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm tonight. The system could be near hurricane strength when it reaches the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico late Saturday. Additional strengthening is forecast Sunday and Monday as the system moves over the central Gulf of Mexico.
It is still too soon to know exactly the location and magnitude of impacts the system will produce along the central or northwestern Gulf Coast, and interests in that area should continue monitoring the progress of this system during the next few days.