Marco becomes hurricane, heads for the US Gulf Coast

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Marco strengthened in a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico on his way to the Louisiana coast on Sunday, according to data from an Air Force Reserve hurricane fighter jet.Tropical Storm Laura, which hit the Dominican Republic and Haiti, is also expected to turn into a hurricane and head for the US coast.

Laura could make landfall from Texas to the Gulf Coast of Florida by Wednesday afternoon and Marco could hit Louisiana or Mississippi on Monday afternoon, according to projections from the National Hurricane Center.

The National Hurricane Center has warned of a potentially fatal storm surge and high winds along the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Marco approaches. A storm surge of up to 6 feet was forecast for parts of the Louisiana coast and Mississippi.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on Friday and called on the Trump administration to grant the state federal emergency status in anticipation of developing storms. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves also declared a state of emergency and warned residents that space in evacuation shelters would be limited due to Covid-19.

This year’s hurricane season is set to become one of the worst in recorded history, in part due to warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. .

Warmer ocean temperatures are due to climate change, which has triggered more intense and frequent disasters such as hurricanes, forest fires and heat waves. California is currently battling more than 500 fires during the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

“We are in an unprecedented period,” Reeves said at a press conference on Saturday. “We are facing not only two potential storms in the next few hours, but also Covid-19. ”

The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and is expected to have 19 to 25 named storms, of which 7 to 11 are expected to turn into hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA predicts there will be 3 to 6 major hurricanes with winds above 111 miles per hour.

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