MIAMI, Florida – NOAA’s National Hurricane Center issued a Public Advisory at 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, due to the presence of Hurricane Laura that is forecast to become a major Category 3 hurricane tracking toward Louisiana and Texas.
Hurricane Laura is located about 510 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas, and is moving to the west-northwest at 17 mph (28 km/h).
NHC forecasters say that this general motion should continue through tonight.
A turn toward the northwest is forecast by Wednesday, and a northwestward to north-northwestward motion should continue through Wednesday night.
On the NHC forecast track, the center of Laura will move across the central Gulf of Mexico tonight and the northwestern Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday.
The hurricane should approach the Upper Texas and Southwest Louisiana coasts on Wednesday night and move inland near those areas late Wednesday night or Thursday morning.
Spaghetti models are in strong agreement that Laura will make landfall just west of the Texas/Louisiana border.
The new NHC forecast track lies to the east of the ECMWF European (orange triangle) and UKMET (blue square) models, so it is still possible that the NHC forecast track could nudge westward in later advisories.
Laura is a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 km/h), with higher gusts.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center of the tropical cyclone and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km).
Significant strengthening is forecast during the next 36 hours, and Laura is expected to be a Category 3 hurricane at landfall.
Rapid weakening is expected after Laura makes landfall.
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from San Luis Pass, Texas to Ocean Springs, Mississippi; Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Lake Borgne.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect from San Luis Pass, Texas to west of Morgan City, Louisiana.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Cuban provinces of Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Mayabeque, La Habana, Artemisa, Pinar del Rio, and the Isle of Youth; and Dry Tortugas.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from San Luis Pass to Freeport, Texas; and Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mouth of the Mississippi River.