Laura’s winds have now increased to 150 mph. A cat 5 starts at 156 mph. Wind gusts within Laura are now at 175 mph. This hurricane is like a big EF-4 tornado….with a 20 foot storm surge. That storm surge could move as far as 50 miles inland. The National Hurricane Center has stated that this surge is unsurvivable along the coast.
I just captured this screen capture of radar. The eye is now well within the radar beam. The image on the left is the precip image that you’re accustomed to seeing. The image on the right is wind speed and direction. The winds are so strong! The right side has southerly winds (green/blue) and the left has northerly winds (red). A neat view of the storm, for sure. Notice the tornado warnings in the outer bands in Louisiana.
Laura will likely be the strongest storm on record to affect this particular area of the northern Gulf Coast. The storm is just 6 mph short of being a cat 5, the strongest category we have on the scale.
We will keep all these folks in the path of this storm near and dear to our hearts. And please remember those who cannot leave. Police, firefighters, EMS, nurses, doctors, etc. Keep them so very close to your hearts tonight. A horrific night of screaming winds and raging water is ahead of so many.
The National Hurricane Center reminds us that there is another disturbance to watch in the coming days. But let’s just worry about Laura for now.