It is expected to make landfall and gain strength by Wednesday evening.
Just as it passed over Cuba on Tuesday morning, Tropical Storm Laura was upgraded to a hurricane. Hurricane Laura is now a Category One and will no doubt strengthen due to the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Current water temperatures are in the upper 80s, which makes for excellent "fuel" for the storm as it approaches the coast, moving west-northwest at 16 miles an hour. The current maximum sustained winds are reaching 75 miles per hour. Laura is expected to make landfall by Wednesday evening and is projected to be a Category Three Hurricane by that time.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued not only a hurricane warning but also storm surge and dangerous wind warnings for the northwest Gulf Coast. Residents are encouraged to take any precautions necessary and heed any potential evacuation orders. The models vary in terms of the path that Laura might take, however, a wide range of the coasts of Texas and Louisiana will be affected to some degree no matter what. The NHC has stated to keep in mind that "Storm surge, winds, and rainfall hazards will extend well away from Laura's center along the Gulf Coast."
Hurricane Laura's current location provided by the National Hurricane Center
Although the initial storm surge and water levels rising will begin on Wednesday, the threat of minor and moderate river flooding and heavy rainfall will extend inland into Arkansas, middle Mississippi, the Tennessee Valley ,and lower Ohio into Friday and Saturday.
Updates will be made as they become available.