Hurricane LAURA (Text)

Hurricane Laura Discussion Number  28
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL132020
400 PM CDT Wed Aug 26 2020
Laura has continued to rapidly strengthen today with recent
visible satellite imagery revealing a very distinct 25 nautical-
mile-wide eye embedded in a symmetric central dense overcast. The
upper-level outflow has also become well established in all
quadrants.  An Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft that
is still investigating the hurricane has reported peak 700-mb
flight-level winds of 136 kt and SFMR winds of 121 kt in the
northeast eyewall.  These data support an initial intensity of 
125 kt, which is an increase of 55 kt over the past 24 hours.  The 
minimum pressure has fallen to around 947 mb.  The well-defined eye 
is now within range of the NWS Lake Charles WSR-88D radar, and 
hourly Tropical Cyclone Updates began at 1900 UTC (2 PM CDT) and 
will continue through landfall and beyond overnight.
Laura still has about 12 hours remaining over the warm waters of the 
northwest Gulf of Mexico waters, but increasing southwesterly shear 
around the time of landfall and the possibility of an eyewall 
replacement could result in some fluctuations in intensity this 
evening, but Laura is expected to remain an extremely dangerous 
category 4 hurricane through landfall tonight.  Although rapid 
weakening is expected on Thursday as Laura moves inland, the 
hurricane is expected to bring a swath of damaging winds well inland 
over western Louisiana and extreme eastern Texas.  The cyclone or 
its remnants are forecast to move off Mid-Atlantic coast over the 
weekend and there remains some possibility that Laura will 
re-intensify as a tropical cyclone offshore of the United States 
east before it merges with a frontal boundary later in the forecast 
Recent satellite and aircraft fixes show that Laura is moving 
northwestward at about 13 kt.  Laura is nearing the western extent 
of a mid-level ridge that is located over the southeastern United 
States.  The hurricane should turn north-northwestward this evening 
and northward on Thursday between the ridge and a weak trough over 
the south-central United States. By Friday the cyclone should turn 
northeastward and then east-northeastward as it becomes embedded in 
the mid-latitude westerlies. The track model guidance continues to 
be in good agreement through 72, but there are some forward speed 
differences thereafter.  The new NHC track is very close to the 
previous advisory and is near the middle of the guidance envelope.
Laura is a large hurricane and users are reminded to not focus on
the precise track forecast since wind, storm surge, and rainfall
hazards extend far from the center.
Key Messages:
1. Unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves will 
cause catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to 
Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes. 
This surge could penetrate up to 40 miles inland from the immediate 
coastline, and flood waters will not fully recede for several days 
after the storm. 

2. Hurricane-force winds are expected tonight in portions of the 
hurricane warning area, with catastrophic wind damage expected 
where Laura's eyewall moves onshore. Hurricane-force winds and 
widespread damaging wind gusts will spread well inland into portions 
of extreme eastern Texas and western Louisiana early Thursday. 

3. Widespread flash flooding along small streams, urban areas, and 
roadways is expected to begin this afternoon into Thursday from far 
eastern Texas into Louisiana and Arkansas. This will also lead to 
minor to moderate freshwater river flooding. The heavy rainfall 
threat and flash and urban flooding potential will spread 
northeastward into the middle-Mississippi, lower Ohio, and Tennessee 
Valleys Friday night and Saturday.
INIT  26/2100Z 27.9N  92.8W  125 KT 145 MPH
 12H  27/0600Z 29.7N  93.6W  130 KT 150 MPH
 24H  27/1800Z 32.5N  93.5W   60 KT  70 MPH...INLAND
 36H  28/0600Z 34.8N  92.7W   35 KT  40 MPH...INLAND
 48H  28/1800Z 36.5N  90.1W   25 KT  30 MPH...INLAND
 60H  29/0600Z 37.3N  85.6W   25 KT  30 MPH...INLAND
 72H  29/1800Z 38.0N  79.0W   30 KT  35 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
 96H  30/1800Z 43.2N  64.0W   45 KT  50 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
120H  31/1800Z 51.0N  49.0W   45 KT  50 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
Forecaster Brown

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Page last modified: Thursday, 31-Dec-2020 12:09:37 UTC