Laura Moves Into The Gulf Of Mexico, Expected To Strengthen

Laura Track

The National Hurricane Center is now predicting Laura will "be a major hurricane at landfall". Storm surge watches stretched from San Luis Pass, Texas, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi. "We might have dodged a bullet with Marco, and obviously some people along the Gulf Coast are not going to be as blessed as us".

Depending on how Laura interacts with a non-tropical system in the Eastern states, there may be more general coverage of heavy, gusty thunderstorms with isolated severe weather. The city of Galveston, Texas has already announced a mandatory evacuation and has ordered anyone within the city to leave and move inland by noon on Tuesday. At one point Sunday, it was a hurricane before it weakened to a tropical storm.

Marco was forecast to dissipate by early Wednesday. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and heading for a possible hit on the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, along with Tropical Storm Marco. The conditions look ideal for Laura to become a major hurricane with winds greater than 110 miles per hour.

It is forecast to become a hurricane Tuesday, and it is forecast to approach the U.S. Gulf Coast on Wednesday night.

"By the time the tropical storm-force winds get there, well, you have to have things wrapped up", Graham said. "It's too unsafe to be on a ladder or carrying plywood".

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Hurricane Laura strengthened from a tropical storm Tuesday morning, a day earlier than forecasters predicted. The center of the storm is now south of Cuba and over the open waters of the Caribbean.

The latest on Laura as of 5 a.m. today is that the storm is now forecast to make landfall as a major hurricane with winds of up to 115 miles per hour in eastern Texas, thereby making it a Category 3 hurricane. Once Laura moves into the Gulf of Mexico, conditions are looking ideal for significant strengthening.

Should that happen, the rapid intensification would occur from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon.

That will be important to watch, as a stronger Laura would head more west toward Houston, whereas a weaker storm would be steered more toward the Texas-Louisiana border. Harvey stalled over eastern Texas for days and brought several feet of rain and catastrophic flooding.

As Laura merges with the other non-tropical feature, an area of heavy rain and locally gusty winds can occur in parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, southern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, southeastern NY state and perhaps southeastern New England this weekend.

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