MEXICO CITY (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Tropical Storm Laura formed Friday in the eastern Caribbean and forecasters said it poses a potential hurricane threat to Florida and the U.S. Gulf Coast. A second storm also may hit the U.S. after running into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
The new tropical storm was centered about 230 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands Friday morning, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. It was heading west at 21 mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
Forecasters earlier described it as as a disorganized storm with a very uncertain future. The Hurricane Center said it might degenerate, or it might blow up into a major hurricane that could hit Florida by Monday or Tuesday and then the Gulf Coast.
The current forecast track, also highly uncertain, would carry it just north of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, across the Bahamas en route to the U.S.
Meanwhile, Tropical Depression 14 is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane once is moves over the warm gulf waters. The storm is of particular concern to residents in Texas, because the forecast track does guide it toward a Texas-Louisiana landfall. But as with anything the forecast can and will change.
CBS 11 Meteorologist Erin Moran said, “We need to pay attention to the entire area in the cone of uncertainty, and remember that impacts from tropical cyclones are usually felt well beyond the center of the storm.”
As it stands, the National Hurricane Center expects Tropical Depression 14 to veer northwest and cut across the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Sunday, possibly at or near hurricane force. A hurricane watch was in effect for the strip of coast containing Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancun, as well as Cozumel island.
From there, the long-term forecast track would carry it to the U.S. Gulf Coast, perhaps impacting parts of Texas and Louisiana, by Tuesday or Wednesday — again, possibly, as a hurricane.
On Friday morning, it was centered about 160 miles east of the Honduran resort island of Roatan with 35 mph winds. It was headed west-northwest at 12 mph.
In the Pacific, former Category 4 Hurricane Genevieve was weakening and heading further out to sea after a glancing blow to the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, where it caused at least two deaths and knocked out power to a large part of the Los Cabos area.
The Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Genevieve had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and was centered about 145 miles west of Cabo San Lazaro, Mexico.
It was heading west-northwest at 9 mph.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)