Around 1 a.m. this morning, Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane near Cameron, Louisiana. Winds were at 92 mph with a gust at 117 mph.
Lake Charles saw stronger winds with max sustained winds at 98 mph and a gust at 132 mph according to the airport. A National Ocean Service tide station observed a water level rise of 9.19 feet at Calcasieu Pass.
Laura is now a Category 2 hurricane moving northerly at 15 mph. Max sustained winds are 110 mph, but throughout the day, winds will decrease as Laura moves into Arkansas. We’re going to monitor the rain bands from Laura, because they could bring impacts to the Baton Rouge metro. Our primary threats will be strong winds, flooding and a few tornadoes. These threats will increase in we’re caught under a feeder band, and we could see higher rainfall totals. We sit under a Tornado Watch through 9 a.m., a Flash Flood Advisory through this evening and a Wind Advisory for areas east of the Mississippi River through 7 p.m.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Freeport, Texas to the Mouth of the Mississippi River. The Storm Surge Watch for areas east of the mouth of the Mississippi River has been canceled.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for San Luis Pass, Texas to Intracoastal City, Louisiana.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Sargent, Texas to San Luis Pass and from east of Intracoastal City to the Mouth of the Mississippi River. Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for western portions of the viewing area: Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Assumption and westward.
A Wind Advisory is in effect for parishes east of the Tropical Storm Warning. These is for southeast Louisiana generally east of the Mississippi River.
Baton Rouge Metro Potential Impacts
Baton Rouge will remain on the east side of the storm. Impacts will be felt well-away from the center. Rain bands will need to be watched for a flash flooding threat, but thanks to the fast moving nature of this hurricane, it should not be prolonged. The risk for tornadoes is elevated. The Storm Prediction Center has placed our area under a Slight Risk (threat level 2 out of 5) for severe weather today for isolated tornadoes. The risk continues into Thursday, but it is slightly lower as Laura lifts to the north.
Wind: Tropical storm-force wind gusts of around 40-60 m.p.h. (or greater) will be possible. Sustained tropical storm-force winds are more likely west of the Mississippi River and near the coast. Western parishes could even see a hurricane-force gust or two. If the storm tracks more to the west, our risk for tropical storm-force winds will go down.
Rain: We will have to watch for where heavy rain bands set up. Our area is now under a Flash Flood Watch through Thursday evening. Rainfall totals may be around 3-5″ with locally higher amounts within rain bands. This Flash Flood Watch has been extended to include all of southeast Louisiana.
There is also a slight to moderate risk of excessive rainfall through tonight. This includes all of southeast Louisiana.
Tornadoes: Isolated tornadoes will be possible Wednesday, Wednesday night and Thursday within rain bands. We are under a Tornado Watch through 4 p.m.
Storm Surge: Storm surge inundation of 4-7′ will be possible from Morgan City to the mouth of the Mississippi River. Coastal flooding around streams and rivers will need to be watched. Inundation of 2-4′ will be possible around tidal lakes.
(8/27) — 1AM Update:
Be sure to check in with our weather team for the latest on these systems. The next two names on the 2020 Atlantic tropical cyclone name list are Laura and Marco, respectively.
We are getting closer and closer to the peak of hurricane season, which begins on August 20, and your StormTracker team will be here to guide you through it.