Tropical Storm Marco Forms in the Northwestern Caribbean; A Likely Texas Threat Next Week


  • Tropical Storm Marco is moving through the northwestern Caribbean.
  • It will bring heavy rain and gusty winds to parts of Mexico this weekend.
  • This system is then expected to emerge in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.
  • It is increasingly likely this system could affect parts of the northern or western U.S. Gulf Coast.
  • At what intensity it moves ashore along the western Gulf Coast and when remains uncertain.

Tropical Storm Marco has formed and is expected to strengthen in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Marco will impact parts of Mexico before reaching the western Gulf of Mexico, where it faces an uncertain future, but will likely affect parts of the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts next week.

The center of this system is less than 200 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. It’s located well to the west of Tropical Storm Laura, which is a separate system tracking through the Atlantic.

Tropical Storm Marco is generating widespread showers and thunderstorms along with gusty winds in the western Caribbean Sea, occasionally wrapping into the Cayman Islands, western Cuba and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Current Information

(The red-shaded area denotes the potential path of the center of the tropical cyclone. It’s important to note that impacts (particularly heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding, winds) with any tropical cyclone usually spread beyond its forecast path.

This system is moving north-northwest and a decrease in its forward speed is anticipated over the next day or so. It will approach the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico on Saturday.

Strengthening is likely over the next few days, and Marco is expected to be a strong tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico.

A hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning are in effect for portions of Mexico’s eastern Yucatan Peninsula from Punta Herrero northward to Cancun, including Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for parts of the Yucatan Peninsula from north and west of Cancun to Dzilam. This means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 24 hours.

Watches and Warnings

(A watch is issued when tropical storm or hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours. A warning is issued when those conditions are expected within 36 hours.

This system is forecast to approach the Yucatan Peninsula as a strong tropical storm, or possibly a hurricane, by late Saturday.

Strong winds and flooding rainfall are possible impacts in the Yucatan this weekend, potentially including Cancun and Cozumel.

Three to six inches of rainfall, with isolated totals of 10 inches, are possible in the Yucatan Peninsula. Eastern Honduras can expect two to four inches of rainfall, while northeastern Nicaragua and the Cayman Islands could receive up to 2 inches, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Forecast Rainfall

(Locally higher totals are possible.)

Beyond that, the forecast is quite uncertain.

“Unfortunately the intensity forecast has not become any clearer and confidence in that aspect of the forecast is quite low,” the National Hurricane Center noted Friday evening.

The tropical storm is expected to emerge into the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. It could approach parts of the western or northern U.S. Gulf Coast of Texas or Louisiana by Tuesday.

The intensity forecast as it approaches the Gulf Coast is complicated by the potential for stronger wind shear. This common nemesis could weaken Marco before it moves ashore.

Adding to the forecast complexity, this system could interact with what is currently Tropical Storm Laura, and that could also impact its path and intensity.

It’s simply too early to know what impacts this system might bring to the United States next week.

All interests in the western Caribbean Sea and along the U.S. and Mexican Gulf Coasts should monitor the forecast closely. Check back frequently with us at for updates in the days ahead.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.


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