Hurricane Laura Advisory Number 26
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL132020 400 AM CDT Wed Aug 26 2020
LAURA EXPECTED TO RAPIDLY STRENGTHEN TO A CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE FORECAST TO PRODUCE A LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE, EXTREME WINDS, AND FLASH FLOODING OVER EASTERN TEXAS AND LOUISIANA LATER TODAY
SUMMARY OF 400 AM CDT...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
LOCATION...26.1N 90.7W ABOUT 315 MI...510 KM SSE OF LAKE CHARLES LOUISIANA ABOUT 335 MI...540 KM SE OF GALVESTON TEXAS MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...110 MPH...175 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 15 MPH...24 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...973 MB...28.72 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY: A Storm Surge Warning has been issued from Freeport to San Luis Pass Texas.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
- A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for: Freeport Texas to the Mouth of the Mississippi River
- A Hurricane Warning is in effect for: San Luis Pass Texas to Intracoastal City Louisiana
- A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for: Sargent Texas to San Luis Pass, East of Intracoastal City Louisiana to the Mouth of the Mississippi River
- A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for: Mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs Mississippi, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Lake Borgne A Hurricane Watch is in effect for: East of Intracoastal City to west of Morgan City Louisiana
A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov. This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. For storm information specific to your area, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.
DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
At 400 AM CDT (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Laura was located near latitude 26.1 North, longitude 90.7 West. Laura is moving toward the northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h) and this general motion should continue today, and a north-northwestward motion is forecast tonight. On the forecast track, Laura should approach the Upper Texas and southwest Louisiana coasts on this evening and move inland near those areas tonight or Thursday morning. Satellite data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts. Laura is forecast to become a category 4 hurricane today, and is expected to be a major hurricane at landfall. Rapid weakening is expected after Laura makes landfall. Laura is becoming a large hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm- force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 973 mb (28.73 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
Key messages for Laura can be found in the Tropical Cyclone Discussion under AWIPS header MIATCDAT3 and WMO header WTNT43 KNHC.
STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide. Sea Rim State Park to Intracoastal City including Sabine Lake and Calcasieu Lake...10-15 ft Intracoastal City to Morgan City including Vermilion Bay...8-12 ft Port Bolivar to Sea Rim State Park...6-9 ft Morgan City to Mouth of the Mississippi River...4-7 ft San Luis Pass to Port Bolivar...3-5 ft Galveston Bay...3-5 ft Mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs including Lake Borgne...2-4 ft Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas...2-4 ft Freeport to San Luis Pass...2-4 ft The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the right of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. This storm surge could penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline in southwestern Louisiana and far southeastern Texas. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.
RAINFALL: From this afternoon through Friday, Laura is expected to produce rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches across portions of the northwestern Gulf Coast from western Louisiana to far eastern Texas, and northward into much of Arkansas. Over the lower to middle Mississippi Valley from central Louisiana into western Tennessee and Kentucky, and southeastern Missouri, 2 to 4 inches of rainfall with isolated totals of 6 inches are expected. This rainfall will cause widespread flash and urban flooding, small streams to overflow their banks, and minor to isolated moderate river flooding. By late Friday into Saturday, portions of the Tennessee and Ohio Valley could see 2 to 4 inches with locally higher amounts as tropical moisture from Laura moves through the region. This rainfall could lead to localized flash and urban flooding along small streams.
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected in the hurricane warning area tonight and Thursday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach the coast in the hurricane warning area late today or tonight, and are expected in the tropical storm warning area tonight and Thursday. Hurricane-force winds and damaging wind gusts are also expected to spread well inland into portions of eastern Texas and western Louisiana early Thursday.
TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are expected this evening through tonight over Louisiana, far southeast Texas, and southwestern Mississippi. The risk for a few tornadoes should continue into Thursday across Louisiana, Arkansas, and western Mississippi.
SURF: Swells produced by Laura are affecting the U.S. Gulf coast from the west coast of Florida to Louisiana and are expected to reach the coast of Texas and northeastern Mexico today. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.