With major Hurricane Laura hours away from landfall, many of you are wondering what sort of impacts we can expect from this storm.
Check out Chief Meteorologist Dan Skoff and Meteorologist Alexander Williams provide the latest update on Hurricane Laura and potential impact to our area.
What We Know
Hurricane Laura is now a major Category 4 storm and is still growing stronger as it moves toward landfall later on this evening.
Landfall will most likely be somewhere between the southeast Louisiana coast and the eastern Texas coast. This includes cities such as Beaumont, TX and Lake Charles, LA. The current cone of uncertainty does not include the city of Houston, TX or Lafayette, LA.
The timing of landfall on the Gulf Coast looks to be late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. The impacts should be quite significant with storm surge in some places along the coast expected to crest up to 20 feet above normally dry ground! This will likely stick much of the southeast Louisiana coastline underwater during the onslaught of the storm. Mandatory evacuations have already taken place for those areas.
Most of the Parishes of Louisiana are under either a hurricane or tropical storm warning. Hurricane warnings also stretch across much of the eastern Texas shoreline, with the Houston metro under a tropical storm warning at this time.
Potential Impacts Across Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley
Laura is expected to weaken after landfall as it moves inland, and away from the warm moist Gulf of Mexico waters. As Laura moves toward the Natural State, she will weaken to tropical storm status. This could potentially bring tropical storm force winds into parts of the our viewing area.
Rain- The bulk of the tropical downpours will be concentrated over the central to eastern portions of Arkansas. For Northwest AR the thinking is 0.5″-1″ through Friday. For the River Valley we are looking at an 1″-1.5″ through Friday as well.
Wind- The bulk of the tropical storm force (39+ mph) wind gusts will be concentrated along the center of circulation and to the right (east). The center is expected to remain well to the southeast of our region which is good news, however, parts of the River Valley could see gusts in the 50+ mph range. Northwest Arkansas could see up to 30 mph gusts at times. The timing for this would be overnight Thursday into Friday.
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