My prayers are with all the families, friends and businesses in the region!
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Hurricane Laura’s eye-wall is emerging right about now, so I am leaving the warnings up to reprinting directly from the NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center:
…EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE LAURA CLOSING IN ON THE NORTHWEST GULF COAST…
…CATASTROPHIC STORM SURGE, EXTREME WINDS, AND FLASH FLOODING EXPECTED TONIGHT AND EARLY THURSDAY…
*** 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
*** A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* East of Intracoastal City to west of Morgan City Louisiana
Hurricane conditions are expected in the hurricane warning area tonight and Thursday morning, with catastrophic wind damage expected where Laura’s eyewall moves onshore. Tropical storm conditions are moving onshore along the coast of Louisiana within the tropical storm warning area and are expected to spread northward within the warning areas overnight. Hurricane-force winds and damaging wind gusts are also expected to spread well inland into portions of eastern Texas and western Louisiana early Thursday.
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 surge could penetrate up to 40 miles inland from the immediate coastline, and flood waters will not fully recede for several days after the storm.
Several tornadoes are expected tonight over Louisiana,far southeast Texas, and southwestern Mississippi. The risk fortornadoes will continue on Thursday across Louisiana, Arkansas, and western Mississippi.
At 10 p.m. CDT, the center of Hurricane Laura was located about 75 miles (120 km) south of Lake Charles, La. It’s moving toward the north-northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h). A turn toward the north is expected by early Thursday, and a northward motion should continue through the day. A northeastward to east-northeastward motion is expected Thursday night and Friday. On the forecast track, Laura will make landfall along the southwest Louisiana coast within the next few hours and move inland within that area early Thursday. The center of Laura is forecast to move over northwestern Louisiana on Thursday, across Arkansas Thursday night, and over the mid-Mississippi Valley on Friday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 150 mph (240 km/h) with higher gusts – an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. 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 sustained wind of 43 mph (69 km/h) and a gust to 49 mph (80 km/h) were recently reported by a National Ocean Service station at Texas Point, Texas, at Sabine Pass. A wind gust to 58 mph (93 km/h) was recently reported at Cameron, Louisiana. No significant change in strength is likely before landfall. Rapid weakening is expected after Laura moves inland.
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 incl. Lake Borgne…1-3 ft
– Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas…1-3 ft
Through Friday, Laura is expected to produce the following
– Across the northwestern Gulf Coast from far southwest Louisiana and the Golden Triangle of Southeast Texas: 8 to 12 inches with isolated totals of 18 inches.
– Across central and the rest of western Louisiana into far eastern Texas: 5 to 10 inches with isolated totals of 15 inches.
– Across much of Arkansas: 3 to 7 inches with isolated totals of 10 inches.
This rainfall will cause widespread flash and urban flooding, small streams and creeks to overflow their banks, and minor to moderate freshwater river flooding.
The next complete advisory will be issued by NHC at 4 a.m. CDT – www.hurricanes.gov
Tune into the following list of emergency NOAA Weather Radio stations available in case of power outages: WXJ-96 Monroe, LA KHB-46 Baton Rouge, LA and KHB-40 Galveston, TX serving the areas and surrounding cities on the emergency weather radio bandwidth or visit https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ If you could not evacuate, do not venture out into the storm, as it is dangerous for flooding waters, flying debris or other storm related injuries and/or fatality. Never walk in flooded waters. as if you cannot see the ground it is not safe to walk! All residents along the Gulf Coast should have a hurricane plan in action or visit https://www.weather.gov/wrn/hurricane-preparedness. Please adhere to safety measures and stay out of the way of danger! Sharing the latest NOAA and NWS reports:
FIND YOUR LOCAL NOAA.com WEATHER RADIO STATION:
FIND YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORESCAST: