A tropical storm and hurricane could hit US simultaneously next week

A strengthening tropical storm and another system that could develop into a hurricane could slam into the US at the same time next week — a phenomenon that hasn’t happened since the Great Depression.

Tropical Storm Laura was swirling east of the Leeward Islands Friday morning with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and moving west at 18 mph, the US National Hurricane Center said.

It will likely skirt or hit Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba as it treks toward the US Gulf Coast and strengthens into a hurricane.

Current forecasts show Laura brushing the tip of Florida beginning around Monday morning and reaching the panhandle and coasts of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama by Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Tropical Depression 14 was in the western Caribbean Sea, and is likely to form into Tropical Storm Marco. Forecasters expect it to gain force again before slamming into the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula as a possible hurricane Saturday night.

A hurricane watch has been issued for the strip of coast containing Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancun, as well as Cozumel island.

From there, Marco could track to the Gulf Coast, impacting Texas or Louisiana by Tuesday or Wednesday — though it could be weakened to a tropical storm by then.

Probability of tropical-storm-force winds.
NOAA

The two storms are already making history as the record-earliest 12th and 13th named storms in any Atlantic hurricane season, according to the Weather Channel.

A pair of hurricanes making landfall in the Gulf of Mexico has only happened once before — in September 1933, when a Category 3 hurricane walloped Brownsville, Texas, at the same time one hit Cedar Key, Florida, Colorado State University tropical scientist Phil Klotzbach tweeted.

With Post wires

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