Northwest Florida seeing heavy rain from Tropical Storm Marco; Laura may become cat 3 storm
- As two storms threaten Gulf Coast, residents brace for deluge
Northwest Florida is seeing heavy and prolonged rain from Tropical Storm Marco even though the area is not in the forecast "cone" for a direct landfall.
“You’re going to be looking at some rain,” said Don Shepherd, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Mobile, Alabama on Sunday. The area should expect 2-4 inches of rain and high surf.
Double red flags were flying on Sunday and Monday on Okaloosa Island, which means swimmers are not allowed to enter the water.
Emergency officials in Okaloosa County are closely monitoring Tropical Storm Marco as well as Tropical Storm Laura.
Okaloosa County is also under a flash flood warning through Tuesday morning .
"Marco is being sheared significantly which contributed to its early weakening, which nearly tilted it on it’s side allowing for the majority of the wet portion of the storm to push off North and East. The system will continue to weaken and we will see the rain becoming more intermittent and sporadic tomorrow," said Patrick Maddox, director of public safety for the county, in his mid-morning Monday email.
A special marine warning was issued by the National Weather Service on Monday to include the waters from Okaloosa-Walton County line to Pensacola until 11:30 a.m.
Waterspouts are possible from cells associated with Marco, according to NWS.
As of Monday morning Marco was located 135 miles south southeast of the Mississippi River with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour. The storm is moving to the northwest at 10 miles and hour and the minimum central pressure was 1005 millibars.
To the southeast, Tropical Storm Laura, is continuing its projected path west and is forecast to enter the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by early Tuesday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mile per hour with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is expected and is forecast to become a hurricane on Tuesday with landfall near the Louisiana/Texas border Thursday morning, possibly as a Category 3 storm, forecasters said.