Hundreds of thousands ordered to flee coast ahead of Hurricane Laura

Hundreds of thousands ordered to flee coast ahead of Hurricane Laura”

But the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warns that the region faces a more substantial threat in Hurricane Laura.

Tropical Storm Laura just below hurricane-level strength and is forecast to "become a major hurricane" Wednesday as it nears the Louisiana and Texas coastline, according to the National Hurricane Center. However, the exact landfall zone for Laura is still coming into focus.

Parts of Louisiana and Texas are on alert for the arrival of the storm that could reach the states as a Category 2 hurricane overnight Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

In Galveston and Port Arthur, Texas, mandatory evacuation orders went into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday. "But it's still going to be a tropical depression or a mini-tropical storm". Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and heading for a possible hit on the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, along with Tropical Storm Marco.

Tropical Storm Laura is having to deal with the high terrain of Cuba this morning. Reports from NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 75 miles per hour (120 km/h) with higher gusts.

A tropical storm warning for the middle Florida Keys was discontinued, but one remained in place from the Seven Mile Bridge to Key West, the hurricane center said late Monday.

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Laura is now moving through very warm water in the Gulf of Mexico which is a favorable atmospheric environment for strengthening.

Now a pull to the west is going to also pull some of the strongest winds and heaviest rain to the west as well, but again that doesn't mean that we won't see our share of strong winds and potential flash flood inducing rain.

Should that happen, the rapid intensification would occur from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon.

Laura is expected to soak parts of the Gulf Coast with 4 to 8 inches of rain, with isolated totals of up to a foot, from Wednesday to Saturday, forecasters said.

Please do not get complacent with this storm even a storm that trends west in terms of landfall will still produce significant, life threatening impacts across south Louisiana they are not confined to the forecast cone. By the time it reaches the coast, the NHC forecasts that the storm could be a Major Category 3 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of over 110 miles per hour.

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