Laura Will Make Landfall as a Major Hurricane Tonight

Weather Update – 11:30 p.m. – Wednesday, August 26th

A few showers may linger into the evening but the forecast is for mostly dry conditions until we begin to see impacts from Laura on Friday. Laura will make landfall tonight as a major hurricane in Louisiana and eastern Texas. Recent observations have had Laura’s strength just below a Category 5 hurricane. West Tennessee remains in the path of the storm but will experience Laura as a tropical depression Friday evening.


Slight chance for rain overnight in West Tennessee with mostly cloudy skies overhead and light winds. Temperatures may only drop to the middle and upper 70s at the coolest point of the night so expect a warm and VERY humid start to Thursday.


There’s a 30% chance for rain on Thursday in West Tennessee with cloudy skies and breezy weather. Temperatures will peak in the upper 80s and lower 90s during the afternoon with dew points in the lower 100s. Laura is heading our way with a chance for bringing strong winds and heavy rainfall to parts of West Tennessee on Friday. Stay tuned to WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News for the latest forecast, and for more updates keep up with Storm Team Weather online too.

Tom Meiners
Storm Team 7 Chief Meteorologist, CBM
Twitter – @WBBJ7TomMeiners
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TROPICAL UPDATE – National Hurricane Center, 10:00 p.m. CDT

At 10:00 PM CDT, the center of Hurricane Laura was located near latitude 29.0 North, longitude 93.2 West. Laura is moving toward the north-northwest near 15 mph. 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 with higher gusts. No significant change in strength is likely before landfall. Rapid weakening is expected after Laura moves inland.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles. A sustained wind of 43 mph and a gust to 49 mph were recently reported by a National Ocean Service station at Texas Point, Texas, at Sabine Pass. A wind gust to 58 mph was recently reported at Cameron, Louisiana.

The minimum central pressure estimated from Air Force and NOAA Hurricane Hunter observations is 939 mb.


Storm surge and tropical-storm-force winds will arrive within the warning areas well in advance of Laura’s center. All preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion in the next few hours.

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.

Disastrous 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. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.

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 moving onshore of the coast of Louisiana within the tropical storm warning area and are expected to reach the coast in the hurricane warning area later this afternoon or evening.

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.

Categories: Weather Forecast