Laura strengthens into a hurricane; could hit Gulf Coast as Cat. 3

A major hurricane could hit Texas or Louisiana later this week

Latest forecast information for Laura (WSLS)

Following the landfall of Tropical Storm Marco at the mouth of the Mississippi River Monday evening, another tropical system is bearing down on the Gulf Coast and this one is likely to be stronger.

Hurricane hunters confirmed Tuesday morning that Laura’s winds had strengthened to 75 mph as it churns in the Gulf of Mexico. That means it’s officially classified as a hurricane, the fourth of the season in the Atlantic basin. As the storm continues to strengthen the next few days, a more well-defined eye will show up on satellite images.

Tuesday morning's tropical satellite (WSLS)

The same areas that were just under tropical storm and hurricane watches and warnings as Marco approached are under the gun from Laura. Tropical storm and hurricane watches have already been posted for southeast Texas and most of the Louisiana coastline.

Tropical watches and warnings (WSLS)

The storm is forecast to rapidly intensify to major hurricane status (Category 3) before it makes landfall Wednesday night in either Texas or Louisiana. The storm will continue into Arkansas as a tropical storm or depression before taking a hard right towards the East Coast Friday.

Laura official forecast track (WSLS)

You probably notice that our area is in the cone of uncertainty. It appears Laura will enhance our rainfall with its moisture Friday night into Saturday. Exact forecast amounts and threats are still to be determined.

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