Two tropical storms are expected to hit the US Gulf Coast at the same time next week, for the first time since the Great Depression.
Both storms – one currently centered east of the Leeward Islands and the other in the Caribbean Sea – will eventually become storms Laura and Marco.
In addition to being the earliest 13th and 14th named storms in an Atlantic hurricane season, the storms present an almost unheard of scenario where two forecast cones are both pointed at the mainland, and expected to arrive around the same time.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tropical Depression 13 was likely to become a tropical storm Friday and then skirt the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
The early, still uncertain track showed it potentially close to Florida by Monday as a hurricane.
Late Thursday, the system was centered about 445 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and it was headed briskly to the west-northwest at 22 mph.
Tropical Depression 14 was forecast to graze the Atlantic coast of Honduras, then curve northward to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula possibly at hurricane strength and then potentially head for the Texas or Louisiana coast by Tuesday, again possibly strengthening into a hurricane.
It is expected to become a tropical storm on Friday.
Late Thursday, it was centered about 65 miles east of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Honduras-Nicaragua border, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. It was headed west-northwest at 14 mph.
Both potential hurricanes have triggered storm warnings across the Caribbean and parts of Central America, and are expected to make landfall on either Monday or Tuesday.