For the first time in almost 90 years, two hurricanes could hit the U.S. Gulf Coast on the same day (or at least within 24 hours of each other). The last time this happened was on Sept. 5, 1933, according to Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University who specializes in Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane forecasts.
Storm number one
Tropical Depression Thirteen (TD13) is churning in the Atlantic, about 250 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands as of 8 a.m. EDT Friday.
TD13 is moving toward the west-northwest at 21 mph, and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects this motion to continue for the next few days. Based on the NHC’s latest forecast track, TD13 will move near or north of the northern Leeward Islands later Friday, then near or north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Saturday and near or north of the island of Hispaniola Saturday night.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 35 mph, with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is likely, and TD13 will probably become a tropical storm by the weekend, then a Category 1 hurricane early next week as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico. Landfall as a hurricane is possible Tuesday night or early Wednesday between Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida.
Tropical storm force winds (39 to 73 mph) are possible from late Friday through Saturday night in the southeastern Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla.
TD13 could produce 3 to 6 inches of rainfall over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands through Sunday. Locally heavy rainfall could lead to flash flooding and urban flooding, as well as an increased potential for mudslides and roadblocks. Some rivers may overflow their banks.
The storm could drop 1 to 3 inches of rainfall in the northern Leeward Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Turks and Caicos, and the southeast Bahamas. Isolated totals of 5 inches are possible.
Storm number two
Tropical Depression Fourteen (TD14) is located 160 miles off the coast of Honduras, heading toward the Yucatán Peninsula this weekend.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph, with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and TD14 will likely become a tropical storm later today.
The system should be near or at hurricane strength when it reaches the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico late Saturday. The NHC expects TD14 to weaken a bit as it moves across the Yucatán Saturday night. Then, it will regain strength Sunday as it moves offshore and enters the southern Gulf of Mexico. Parts of the Yucatán could see flash flooding and rainfall totals exceeding 6 inches.
Landfall as a hurricane is possible Tuesday or Tuesday night near the Upper Texas Coast or southwestern Louisiana, between Houston and Lake Charles.
Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard set port condition YANKEE for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This means ports are closed to all inbound commercial vessel traffic unless specifically authorized by the captain of the port (COTP). Vessels without approved applications to remain in port were required to leave upon release of the announcement.
The systems are battling it out to see which will become the next named storm first. The next two names on the list are Laura and Marco.