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Tracking 2 Tropical Depressions and later the formation of scattered storms locally

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Tropical outlook 2

The system is forecast to bring rain and flooding to Caribbean islands on its way to the USA mainland.

Hurricane season is approaching its peak, with two tropical depressions expected to gain strength and affect the USA coast-potentially at the same time. The storm may eventually pose a threat to the Texas or Louisiana coasts by next Tuesday.

On that track, the hurricane center said, it will move near or just north of the northeastern coast of Honduras and the Bay Islands on Friday and will approach the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico on Saturday.

Tropical Depression 14 is likely to become Tropical Storm Laura as early as Friday afternoon.

It is located less than 300 miles from the northern Leeward Islands and is moving quickly toward the west-northwest near 21 mph.

Tropical Depression #13 got the upgrade to Laura just after 8 a.m. CDT this morning after the Hurricane Hunters found that maximum winds had increased to 45 miles per hour. The National Hurricane Center says it has a 90% chance of becoming a tropical depression or a tropical storm in the next two days.

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. Because of that, a hurricane watch has been issued for that part of Mexico.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the northern coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the south-eastern Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands.

Hurricane-force wind gusts, storm surge and flooding from heavy rain are expected in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. If Laura forms, it will be the earliest "L" named storm on record in the Atlantic Ocean beating out "Luis" that formed on August 29, 1995. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently warned that this year's season could see twice the normal number of named storms.

Climate change has been linked to the more frequent occurrence of major hurricanes globally as well as the rising number of hurricanes in the Atlantic.

The hurricane center said more watches or warnings, including for the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, may be coming later today.

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