Laura rapidly intensifies into 2020’s first major hurricane of the season

Laura rapidly intensifies into 2020’s first major hurricane of the season
Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts. (Source: WMC-TV 5)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - All eyes are on the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Laura makes its push towards the Gulf Coast.

Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts.
Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts. (Source: WMC-TV 5)

Laura is forecasted to make landfall along the Texas/Louisiana border as a major hurricane, meaning wind speeds will be in excess of 110 miles per hour.

Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts.
Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts. (Source: WMC-TV 5)

The latest track from the National Hurricane Center shows Laura pushing up the western side of Louisiana and into Arkansas. The storm will weaken into a Tropical Storm near Shreveport, Louisiana and then into a Tropical Depression as it approaches Little Rock, Arkansas.

Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts.
Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts. (Source: WMC-TV 5)

The center of the storm will move to the west and northwest of the Mid-South. Even with the current track, the remnants of Laura will bring possible impacts to the region.

LAURA IMPACTS ON MID-SOUTH:

WHEN: Rain bands from Laura will start to move into the region Wednesday. Tropical systems can bring rounds of rain to an area, thanks to the amount of moisture to aid in development of the storms. With that being said, at times we will see sunshine and then other times we can expect tropical downpours. Thursday will be similar to today, with rounds of rain and storms. The heaviest and more widespread rain from Laura is expected to move into the region on Friday and into Saturday.

Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts.
Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts. (Source: WMC-TV 5)

IMPACTS: The abundance of moisture in tropical systems will bring heavy rains. This could potentially drop 1 to 2 inches of rain within a short amount of time, leading to flash flooding. The greatest threat for flooding will be on Friday into early Saturday morning. Locations closer to the center of the storm will get the heavier amounts of rain. That is why we are watching parts of West Tennessee and Eastern Arkansas closely for higher rain amounts.

Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts.
Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts. (Source: WMC-TV 5)

Winds will also be a concern. Gusts could be as high as 30 plus miles per hour on Friday into Saturday. With the amount of rain expected and winds, it would be easy for trees to be uprooted.

Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts.
Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts. (Source: WMC-TV 5)

Strong storms will also be possible, including rotating storms. The Storm Prediction Center has placed parts of the Mid-South under a Slight and Marginal (Low Risk) for storms on Thursday. The highest risk for the storms will be locations in Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta.

Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts.
Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts. (Source: WMC-TV 5)

Stormy weather will continue for Friday, there is a Marginal (Low Risk) for storms on Friday as Laura quickly moves east and out of the Mid-South.

Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts.
Tracking Hurricane Laura and Mid-South impacts. (Source: WMC-TV 5)

HOW TO PREPARE:

With each day, the National Hurricane Center continues to update the latest on Hurricane Laura including the track of the storm.

For the latest on Laura and the potential impacts to the Mid-South, stay with the WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather team.

WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather App
WMC Action News 5 First Alert Weather App (Source: WMC Action News 5)

If you want to track Laura in the palm of your hand, make sure you download the FREE First Alert Weather app for your smart phone or tablet.

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