CURRENT TROPICAL CYCLONES:
Tropical Cyclone 13L (Laura)…is located 30 miles east of Port Arthur, Texas
A westward-moving tropical wave located over the far eastern tropical Atlantic about 350 miles east-southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands continues to produce disorganized shower activity. Although environmental conditions are not expected to be conducive for development during the next couple of days, they are forecast to gradually become more favorable over the weekend and into early next week when the wave moves into the central tropical Atlantic.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…near 0 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days…low…20 percent
Here’s a satellite image of the Atlantic Ocean
Gulf of Mexico:
Tropical Cyclone 13L (Laura)
EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE LAURA MAKES LANDFALL NEAR CAMERON LOUISIANA…CATASTROPHIC STORM SURGE, EXTREME WINDS, AND FLASH FLOODING OCCURRING IN PORTIONS OF LOUISIANA
According to the NHC Advisory 29A…Laura is moving toward the north near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this motion should continue through the day. A northeastward to east-northeastward motion is expected tonight and Friday.
On the forecast track, Laura will move inland across southwestern Louisiana this morning, and then continue northward across the state through this afternoon. The center of Laura is forecast to move over Arkansas tonight, and over the mid-Mississippi Valley on Friday, and the mid-Atlantic states on Saturday.
Air Force reconnaissance and Doppler radar data indicate that the maximum sustained winds are near 150 mph (240 km/h) with higher gusts.
Rapid weakening is forecast as Laura moves inland. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 km).
A Weatherflow site in Cameron recently reported a sustained wind of 101 mph (163 km/h) with a gust to 116 mph (187 km/h). A National Ocean Service site at Calcasieu Pass reported a sustained wind of 93 mph (150 km/h) and a wind gust of 127 mph (204 km/h) within the last hour. A wind gust of 104 mph (167 km/h) was recently reported at Lake Charles, Louisiana.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
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…
Johnson Bayou LA to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge including Calcasieu Lake…15-20 ft
Sea Rim State Park TX to Johnson Bayou LA including Sabine Lake…10-15 ft
Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge to Intracoastal City LA…10-15 ft
Intracoastal City LA to Morgan City including Vermilion Bay…8-12 ft
Port Bolivar TX to Sea Rim State Park…6-9 ft
Morgan City LA to Mouth of the Mississippi River…4-7 ft
Freeport TX to Port Bolivar including Galveston Bay…2-4 ft
Mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs MS including Lake Borgne…2-4 ft
Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas…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.
Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes. 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.
WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected in the hurricane warning area tonight and Thursday, with catastrophic wind damage expected where Laura’s eyewall makes landfall tonight. 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.
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. This rainfall will cause widespread flash and urban flooding, small streams and creeks to overflow their banks, and minor to isolated moderate freshwater river flooding.
By Friday into Saturday, Laura will produce rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 6 inches across the mid-Mississippi and portions of the Lower Ohio and Lower Tennessee Valleys. This rainfall may lead to localized flash and urban flooding and rapid rises on small streams.
TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are expected this afternoon 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 entire U.S. Gulf coast from the west coast of Florida to Texas and northeastern Mexico These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.