Computer models suggest that Laura could tap the exceptionally warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and intensify into a large and dangerous hurricane.
Laura is forecast to make landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday as Category 2 or 3 storm with winds of 110 mph in the zone from near Galveston, Tex., to just west of Morgan City, La., where hurricane watches have been posted. Houston is under a tropical storm watch.
The National Hurricane Center is forecasting a “life-threatening” rise in water above normally dry land at the coast that could cause 7 to 11 feet of inundation. It issued storm surge watches from just southwest of Houston to coastal Mississippi. In addition, the storm is forecast to unload 4 to 8 inches of rain when it comes ashore and up to a foot in some areas, causing flash flooding.
While producing some areas of heavy rain along the northern Gulf Coast, the prior storm of concern, Marco, fell apart Monday due to wind shear. It was downgraded to a tropical depression late in the evening after making landfall as a minimal tropical storm at the mouth of the Mississippi River in southeast Louisiana.