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Hurricane Watches hoisted for parts of Acadiana ahead of Laura

Posted at 3:58 PM, Aug 24, 2020

The good news of the day is that Tropical Storm Marco has been completely decimated by southwesterly wind shear and remains a very weak, disorganized system.

In fact, most of the convection is displaced well off to the north and east of the actual center of circulation this afternoon.

As the center moves closer to Acadiana on Tuesday, we may see some tropical squalls and breezy conditions out there, but overall impacts remain minimal for Acadiana.

We are going to be dealing with a much different, more serious story when it comes to Tropical Storm Laura.

The storm will be crossing Cuba and emerging out into the very warm Gulf of Mexico waters by later tonight.

Unlike the case for Marco, shear and overall environmental conditions will be more favorable for development with Laura. Thus, we are expecting Laura to intensify to a substantial hurricane as it treks northwestward through the Gulf of Mexico.

The storm is forecasted to make landfall in SW Louisiana late Wednesday and into early Thursday morning as a strong category two hurricane. However, keep in mind that the intensity forecast is always the toughest to nail down, so a major category 3 hurricane strike remains on the table.

Regardless, we are certainly still in the mix to see significant/life threatening impacts here in Acadiana. At this time, it appears the worst of the weather(and impacts) will likely set up for western/central Acadiana.

This does NOT mean places farther east like St. Mary parish should let their guard down, but conditions are likely to gradually improve the farther east and away from the center of circulation you get.

Here is a estimate of what to expect impact-wise with Laura moving in:

Keep in mind these are still subject to change, but it is hard to ignore the seriousness of some of these estimates.

The biggest threat to life and property during tropical systems is storm surge, and it is likely that portions of the Louisiana coast will face devastating surge from Laura.. perhaps similar to Ike/Rita.

The bottom line is that residents of Acadiana must be prepared for a significant hurricane strike to the area come Wednesday.

Final plans and preparations should be finalized by Tuesday night and no later than Wednesday morning.

The KATC storm team remains committed to keeping you all safe during this all, so make sure to stay with us for the very latest.