LAURA EXPECTED TO RAPIDLY STRENGTHEN TO A CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE

FORECAST TO PRODUCE A LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE, EXTREME
WINDS, AND FLASH FLOODING OVER EASTERN TEXAS AND LOUISIANA LATER
TODAY…


SUMMARY OF 400 AM CDT…0900 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…26.1N 90.7W
ABOUT 315 MI…510 KM SSE OF LAKE CHARLES LOUISIANA
ABOUT 335 MI…540 KM SE OF GALVESTON TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…110 MPH…175 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 15 MPH…24 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…973 MB…28.72 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

A Storm Surge Warning has been issued from Freeport to San Luis
Pass Texas.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

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
Mississippi River

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* Mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs Mississippi
* Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Lake Borgne

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* East of Intracoastal City to west of Morgan City Louisiana

A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening
inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline,
during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations. For a depiction
of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm
Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov. This is a
life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas
should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from
rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions.
Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local
officials.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life
and property should be rushed to completion.

A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-
threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the
coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible
within the watch area.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area.

For storm information specific to your area, including possible
inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your
local National Weather Service forecast office.


DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
———————-
At 400 AM CDT (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Laura was located
near latitude 26.1 North, longitude 90.7 West. Laura is moving
toward the northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h) and this general
motion should continue today, and a north-northwestward motion is
forecast tonight. On the forecast track, Laura should approach the
Upper Texas and southwest Louisiana coasts on this evening and move
inland near those areas tonight or Thursday morning.

Satellite data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased
to near 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts. Laura is forecast to
become a category 4 hurricane today, and is expected to be a major
hurricane at landfall. Rapid weakening is expected after Laura
makes landfall.

Laura is becoming a large hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend
outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-
force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 973 mb (28.73 inches).


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
Key messages for Laura can be found in the Tropical Cyclone
Discussion under AWIPS header MIATCDAT3 and WMO header WTNT43 KNHC.

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…

Sea Rim State Park to Intracoastal City including Sabine Lake and
Calcasieu Lake…10-15 ft
Intracoastal City to Morgan City including Vermilion Bay…8-12 ft
Port Bolivar to Sea Rim State Park…6-9 ft
Morgan City to Mouth of the Mississippi River…4-7 ft
San Luis Pass to Port Bolivar…3-5 ft
Galveston Bay…3-5 ft
Mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs including Lake
Borgne…2-4 ft
Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas…2-4 ft
Freeport to San Luis Pass…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. 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.

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. Over the lower to middle Mississippi Valley from
central Louisiana into western Tennessee and Kentucky, and
southeastern Missouri, 2 to 4 inches of rainfall with isolated
totals of 6 inches are expected. This rainfall will cause
widespread flash and urban flooding, small streams to overflow their
banks, and minor to isolated moderate river flooding.

By late Friday into Saturday, portions of the Tennessee and Ohio
Valley could see 2 to 4 inches with locally higher amounts as
tropical moisture from Laura moves through the region. This
rainfall could lead to localized flash and urban flooding along
small streams.

WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected in the hurricane warning
area tonight and Thursday. 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.

TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are expected this evening 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 U.S. Gulf coast
from the west coast of Florida to Louisiana and are expected to
reach the coast of Texas and northeastern Mexico today. These
swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current
conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.


NEXT ADVISORY
————-
Next intermediate advisory at 700 AM CDT.
Next complete advisory at 1000 AM CDT.


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