There are a few subtle changes with the Friday mid-morning update, and just how much impact those changes have remain to be seen.
Around 8:00 a.m. Friday, Hurricane Hunters were able to determine that winds had increased sufficiently enough to warrant the upgrade from Tropical Depression 13 to Tropical Storm Laura, with winds at 45 mph and gusting up to 60 mph.
The center seems further south Friday than it did late Thursday night and as a result the forecast cone has shifted south slightly and maybe a little further west as far as landfall, but still favoring the Mobile Bay area.
Intensity didn't change much from previous runs, but the uncertainty with the intensity forecast is greater than normal as there may be more land interaction than previously thought, which could bump down the strength.
Complicating matters could also be the influence of the other potential storm in the Gulf of Mexico which will be moving through at roughly the same time.
That other storm is Tropical Depression Fourteen, likely becoming Marco by the end of the day on Friday, which is sitting with winds at 35 mph and gusting up to 45 mph.
Structurally the storm doesn't look great, there's a couple vortices that are competing but if storms rally around one it could be the beginning of an intensification phase as it heads to the Yucatan.
Close to hurricane strength by Saturday the interaction with the Yucatan will be key in determining the strength and size of the storm that gets into the Gulf of Mexico.
Currently the forecast is for a Category 1/strong Tropical Storm to make landfall along the Louisiana/Texas border by early Tuesday morning.
Specific impacts are hazy right now with out know what the storm will look like when it gets into the Gulf of Mexico, a more westward leaning storm would probably be a little weaker and more disorganized then one that favors the east side of the cone.
There's still a considerable amount of uncertainty with these storms particularly when it comes to intensity so the best course of action is to take advantage of the nice weather and do the simple, early preparations.
The weekend will be an important time for both of these storms so make sure you are getting your updates over the next couple of days.
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