Tropical Storm Laura forms in the Atlantic, depression expected to become Marco

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) –Tropical Storm Laura formed Friday morning as the system neared the Northern Leeward Islands.

The National Hurricane Center is monitoring Laura and Tropical Depression 14, which formed in the Caribbean on Wednesday night.

The next named storm of the season is Marco.

Tropical Storm Laura

Tropical Storm Laura formed in the Atlantic around 9 a.m. on Friday morning. An hour earlier, it was about 255 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. It was moving west-northwest at 21 mph. Its track and intensity will be updated in the upcoming advisory, which will be issued at 11 a.m. But the system is expected to continue on that track for the next few days, moving near or north of the northern Leeward Islands by late Friday and near or north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Saturday, and near or north of Hispaniola Saturday night.

The system could bring some storm surge, rainfall and wind impacts to parts of Hispaniola, Cuba, the Bahamas and Florida this weekend and early next week.

However, the NHC says the details of the long-range track and intensity forecasts are “more uncertain than usual” because the system could move over parts of the Greater Antilles this weekend.

The storm is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rainfall over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands through Sunday.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla and the southeastern Bahamas, including the Acklins, Crooked Island,Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, and the Ragged Islands, as well as for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Tropical Depression 14

Another system located in the central Caribbean Sea became better organized and formed into Tropical Depression 14 on Thursday.

Around 8 a.m. Friday, the system was about 160 miles east of Isla Roatan Honduras with 35 mph maximum sustained winds. It’s moving west-northwest at 12 mph.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Punta Herrero to Cancun Mexico.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Honduras/Nicaragua border westward to Punta Castilla Honduras, Islands of Honduras, Puerto Cabezas Nicaragua northward to the Honduras/Nicaragua border, and Punta Herrero to Cancun, Mexico.

Tropical wave

The NHC is also monitoring a tropical wave over western Africa. The wave is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms and is expected to move over the far eastern tropical Atlantic on Friday. It has a 20% chance of developing over the next two days and a 5% chance of development over the next five days.

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