Hurricane Laura: NOAA Updates from the National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Laura

NHC Hurricane Laura

Hurricane Laura has recently grown to hurricane status and now some forecasters are predicting that the storm will be a major hurricane, possibly as high as Category 3, by the time it makes landfall somewhere between Louisiana and Texas. The National Hurricane Center is providing frequent updates about the storm’s movements. Here are details from the latest update from the NOAA as of Tuesday, August 25 at 1 p.m. Central. The next complete advisory will be at 4 p.m. Central. You can read the full updates on the NOAA’s website here.

Hurricane Laura’s Location, Coordinates & Movement

As of 1 p.m. Central, Laura was located at 24.3N and 87.6W, about 525 miles southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana and 560 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas

The storm is moving west-northwest or 295 degrees at 16 mph.

The NOAA noted that Laura is expected to strengthen into a major hurricane by Wednesday night.

Hurricane Laura’s Wind Strength, Pressure, & Rainfall

The storm’s maximum sustained winds as of 1 p.m. are 75 mph. The minimum central pressure is 990 MB (29.24 inches) according to NOAA. Additional strengthening is expected.

Tropical storm winds extend up to 175 miles and hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center.

Rainfall is expected to be 4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts up to 12 inches in the United States. NHC noted:

From Wednesday night into Saturday, Laura is expected to produce rainfall of 4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches across portions of the west-central U.S. Gulf Coast from western Louisiana into east Texas, and northward into portions of the lower to middle Mississippi Valley, lower Ohio Valley, and Tennessee Valley. This rainfall will cause widespread flash and urban flooding, small streams to overflow their banks, and minor to isolated moderate river flooding.

Current Watches & Warnings

According to the National Hurricane Center, the following warnings and watches are in effect as of 1 p.m.

Hurricane Watch 

  • East of Intracoastal City to west of Morgan City, Louisiana

Tropical Storm Warning

  • Sargent, Texas to San Luis Pass
  • East of Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the mouth of the Mississippi River

Hurricane Warning

  • San Luis Pass, Texas to Intracoastal City, Louisiana

Storm Surge Warning

  • San Luis Pass, Texas to the mouth of the Mississippi River

Storm Surge Watch

  • Freeport, Texas to San Luis Pass
  • Mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs, Mississippi
  • Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Lake Borgne

Additional watches and warnings may be issued, so stay tuned to local news for updates in your region.

Additional Hurricane Discussions

The NOAA’s 1 p.m. updated included some additional details worth noting.

At 100 PM CDT (1800 UTC), the center of Hurricane Laura was located near latitude 24.3 North, longitude 87.6 West. Laura is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion should continue today. A turn toward the northwest is forecast by Wednesday, and a northwestward to north-northwestward motion should continue through Wednesday night. On the forecast track, the center of Laura will move across the southeastern Gulf of Mexico today. Laura is then forecast to move over the central and northwestern Gulf of Mexico tonight and Wednesday, approach the Upper Texas and Southwest Louisiana coasts on Wednesday night and move inland near those area on Thursday.

At 10 a.m., the NHC shared the following:

Satellite imagery shows that Laura has become a little better organized since it crossed western Cuba, and it now has a central dense overcast and some outer banding in the southern quadrant. Reports from Air Force Reserve and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft included SFMR winds of near 65 kt, 700-mb flight-level winds as high as 77 kt, and a central pressure near 990 mb. Based on these data, Laura has been upgraded to a hurricane with an initial intensity of 65 kt.

The initial motion is west-northwestward or 290/14 kt. The hurricane is currently on the south side of a large-deep layer ridge over the southeastern United States, and it is moving toward a break in the ridge caused by mid- to -upper-level troughing over Texas and the southern Great Plains. The current and forecast synoptic pattern should steer Laura west-northwestward today followed by a turn toward the northwest tonight and toward the north by Wednesday night and Thursday. This will result in the hurricane making landfall in the area of southwestern Louisiana or the upper Texas coast late Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The new forecast track before landfall has been nudged a little to the west of the previous track in response to a westward nudge in the guidance. However, it still lies a little east of the consensus models at the time of landfall. After landfall, Laura is expected to recurve into the westerlies and move eastward through the Tennessee Valley and the mid-Atlantic States.

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