Hurricane Laura Expected to Strengthen Into a Category 4; Strike Ahead Near Louisiana & Texas Border
At a Glance
- Laura is expected to intensify into a Category 4 as it approaches landfall.
- Laura will make landfall Wednesday night into early Thursday near the border between Louisiana and Texas.
- Catastrophic storm surge and damaging winds will affect areas near where Laura makes landfall.
- Storm surge could penetrate as much as 30 miles inland in southwest Louisiana.
- Laura is also an inland flood risk as far north and east as Arkansas and the Ohio and Tennessee valleys.
- Isolated tornadoes are also expected from Laura.
Hurricane Laura is expected to strengthen into a Category 4 as it heads for a destructive landfall near the Texas and Louisiana border Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. A catastrophic storm surge and damaging winds will batter the region and a threat of flooding rain and strong winds will extend well inland.
Residents along the upper Texas and southwest Louisiana coasts should finish preparations now for a major hurricane strike. Follow any evacuation orders issued by local or state officials.
(LATEST NEWS: Hundreds of Thousands Ordered to Evacuate)
Laura is centered just over 200 miles south-southeast of Lake Charles, Louisiana. It’s tracking to the northwest at 16 mph.
The hurricane is now a Category 3 with 125 mph winds and is expected to continue strengthening. Laura is forecast to become a Category 4 hurricane later today as it approaches the northwest Gulf Coast.
Laura’s maximum sustained winds jumped from 75 mph to 125 mph in the 24 hours ending 10 a.m. CDT Wednesday. That increase in maximum sustained winds easily meets the definition of rapid intensification in a hurricane.
Doppler radar shows that bands of rain and gusty winds are now beginning to pivot into the northwest Gulf Coast.
A wind gust to 107 mph was reported at a buoy near the center of Laura early Wednesday morning.