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Laura expected to bring significant impacts to Louisiana

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Posted at 11:10 AM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 16:53:25-04

The biggest update to the new forecast from the National Hurricane Center is the quick dissipation of Marco as wind shear works hard against the storm and has really blown it apart over the last 12 hours.

Marco is still holding on to tropical storm force winds and will barely be a tropical storm as it moves ashore in southeastern Louisiana Monday afternoon, before it becomes a remnant low that moves across the state.

Most of the impacts have been blown to the north east there isn't much expected from Marco except for a windy day on Tuesday and a rain band or two could certainly sweep across the area Monday night and Tuesday, although impact will be minimal.

Since Marco is already breaking up and the low will be significantly weakened by mid week, there is no interaction expected between Marco and Laura. Unfortunately, the impacts from Laura will be a far cry from the minimal.

Laura has held together rather impressively despite its proximity to land, and while not much strengthening is expected on Monday, Laura is expected to intensify quickly once it gets into the Gulf of Mexico. Here is the latest as of the 1 pm advisory. We will get a new track forecast coming up at 4 pm.

This section of the Gulf of Mexico has incredibly warm water and wind shear is very low in the eastern Gulf which makes it a powder keg for a rapidly intensifying storm.

Spending most of the day Tuesday organizing and moving NW, Laura then takes a hard turn north and landfall is currently expected in SW Louisiana Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Winds at landfall are anticipated to be around 105 mph around the center at landfall, but hurricane winds would stretch out through Acadiana and gusts could reach even higher.

The impacts in any particular area will be largely track dependent with small track changes leading to major changes in the exact impacts for any given area.

That being said the impacts associated with Laura will be significant with the earliest impacts arriving in Acadiana by Wednesday morning with tropical storm force winds moving in by mid morning Wednesday.

There are areas of Acadiana, particularly west Acadiana that could see sustained winds around 70-80 mph with gusts around 105 mph, this part of the forecast is largely dictated by the exact location of that center.

Storm surge could be around the magnitude of 8-12 feet with flooding along bayous and rivers possible 30 miles inland, the highest storm surge will be located around the center, but widespread coastal flooding across Louisiana's coast is likely.

Flash flooding caused by rain will be possible across much of Louisiana with the worst hit areas receiving 8-15" of rain over a short amount of time, look for the band of worst hit areas to narrow as the storm gets closer and we get a better idea about what is coming down the road.

There are still some details that need to be ironed out but the models have been narrowing in on a landfall in southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas and confidence in the forecast is starting to grow.

There will likely be evacuation orders issued and I would ask everyone to heed those orders and to take this storm seriously, this is a dangerous storm and it should not be written off.

We will be staying on top of the forecast and as things change we will bring you those changes in real time.

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