Tracking the Tropics: Laura now a hurricane, hurricane/tropical Storm warnings issued for TX/LA coasts

Tracking the Tropics

Just a quick note on Marco: The NHC has stopped issuing advisories for the storm, however, the remnants of Marco will still bring locally heavy rain and some wind to portions of the Gulf coast and even Central Alabama through the day today. We don’t expect severe weather, but tropical downpours with some isolated flooding issues are possible.

The remnants of Marco will cause heavy rain in parts of the Deep South today.

The 10 AM advisory is out and there isn’t much change to the track or intensity of Laura. Hurricane hunter aircraft found some strong flight-level winds, but the NHC decided not to increase the initial intensity at this time.

Laura is still forecast to move over the warm Gulf of Mexico and strengthen today and tomorrow.

Satellite view of Tropical Storm Laura.

Laura is expected to be a major hurricane at the time of landfall, which is expected to be sometime Thursday morning. The location of landfall is still estimated to be somewhere near the TX/LA Gulf coast, with Louisiana being on the right hand side of the circulation (always the worst side when talking about storm surge/wind impacts). Computer forecast models have shifted farther to the west this morning, but the NHC forecast is mainly unchanged.

Close up look at Laura’s forecast track up to landfall.

Something else of note on Laura’s track, once it gets picked up by the westerly winds, and its remnants are swept off the east coast of the U.S., the NHC predicts the low will regenerate into a tropical storm again. It’s still WAY TOO EARLY to know if this will happen, and where the regenerated storm might go, but it’s definitely and interesting twist.

Official track for Hurricane Laura from the National Hurricane Center.

Here are the key messages for Laura from the National Hurricane Center:

1. Laura is forecast to reach the northwestern Gulf Coast at or near major hurricane intensity Wednesday night. Do not focus on the details of the official forecast given the typical uncertainty in NHC’s track and intensity predictions. Storm surge, wind, and rainfall hazards will extend well away from Laura’s center along the Gulf Coast.

2. There is the danger of life-threatening storm surge accompanied by large and dangerous waves from San Luis Pass, Texas, to the Mouth of the Mississippi River, including areas inside the Port Arthur Hurricane Flood Protection system. A Storm Surge Warning is in effect and residents should follow any advice given by local officials. Actions to protect life and property should be rushed to completion today, as water levels will begin to rise Wednesday.

3. Hurricane conditions are expected by Wednesday evening in the area from San Luis Pass, Texas, to west of Morgan City, Louisiana, and a Hurricane Warning is in effect. Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin in the warning area Wednesday afternoon.

4. The threat of widespread flash and urban flooding along with small streams overflowing their banks will be increasing Wednesday night into Thursday from far eastern Texas, across Louisiana, and Arkansas. This will also lead to minor to isolated moderate river flooding. The heavy rainfall threat will spread northeastward into the middle-Mississippi, lower Ohio, and Tennessee Valleys Friday and Saturday.


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