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Laura Passes By Florida Monday

Tropical Storm Laura will make its closest approach to South Florida on Monday..  A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Florida Keys from Craig Key to Key West.  Tropical storm conditions are likely there, with strong gusts arriving late Monday morning.

Mainland South Florida will see windy conditions, a mix of sun and clouds, and periods of showers and storms.  A high risk of dangerous rip currents is in place along the Atlantic coast, and a moderate rip current risk along the Gulf coast. Gusts just below tropical storm strength are likely from the afternoon into early on Tuesday.  Highs on Monday will be mostly in the sticky low 90s.

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Tuesday will be breezy with a mix of sun, clouds, showers, and storms as a strengthening Laura moves away.  Tuesday’s highs will be in the low 90s in the east coast metro area and the mid-90s along the Gulf Coast and well inland.

Wednesday will see a return to our typical summer weather pattern, with good sun to start and showers and storms developing in the afternoon.  Wednesday’s highs will be in the low 90s.

Thursday will feature mostly sunny skies until showers and storms develop in the afternoon.  Thursday’s highs will be in the low 90s.

Friday’s forecast includes the usual summer mix of sun, clouds, showers, and a few storms.  Highs on Friday will be in the low 90s.

We’re all watching Tropical Storm Laura as it makes its way across Cuba, bringing flooding rains and dangerous winds to the island, as well as Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.  At 5 am Monday, Laura was located near 20.8 North, 78.9 West, about 255 miles east-southeast of Isla de Pinos (Isle of Youth), Cuba.  Maximum sustained winds were 65 miles per hour, and Laura was moving west-northwest at 21 miles per hour.  Heavy rains from Laura have already caused life-threatening flooding on Hispaniola.  Laura is forecast to strengthen in the Gulf and make landfall along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane on Wednesday night.

Tropical Storm Marco is forecast to make landfall along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast on Monday.  At 5 am, Marco was located near 27.6 North, 88.2 West, about 115 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.  Maximum sustained winds were down to 60 miles per hour after Marco briefly reached hurricane strength on Sunday.  Marco was moving northwest at 10 miles per hour.  Since Marco is not forecast to be a hurricane when it reaches the northern Gulf Coast, hurricane warnings have been replaced with tropical storm warnings — but this is still a dangerous storm.  Unfortunately, Louisiana and eastern Texas will have to deal with the effects of Marco on Monday into Tuesday, and then Laura on Wednesday into Thursday.

Donna Thomas has studied hurricanes for two decades. She holds a PhD in history when her experience with Hurricane Andrew ultimately led her to earn a degree in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University. Donna spent 15 years at WFOR-TV (CBS4 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale), where she worked as a weather producer with hurricane experts Bryan Norcross and David Bernard. She also produced hurricane specials and weather-related features and news coverage, as well as serving as pool TV producer at the National Hurricane Center during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Donna also served as a researcher on NOAA's Atlantic Hurricane Database Reanalysis Project. Donna specializes in Florida's hurricane history.