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Laura's landfall predicted Wednesday night or early Thursday morning as a Category 3 hurricane
10 A.M. UPDATE: The National Weather Service has now issued Hurricane and Storm Surge Warnings from San Luis Pass and eastward along the upper Texas coast. The warnings stretch into Louisiana.
This is a developing story. An earlier edition is below.
Laura is now a hurricane with 75 mph winds. Hurricane Laura is zeroing in on a Texas or Louisiana landfall Wednesday night or early Thursday, likely as a major hurricane. Watches and warnings have been issued that now cover parts of southeast Texas.
A Hurricane Watch stretches along the coast from Port Bolivar, Texas, to west of Morgan City, Louisiana. Galveston Bay, Bolivar Peninsula, Chambers County, and southern Liberty County are under the watch.
7AM UPDATE: Hurricane Laura is expected to make landfall as a category 3 storm between Wed. and Thurs. night. Press play to see the current forecasted path for landfall.
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from San Luis Pass, Texas, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Galveston Island, Bolivar Peninsula, coastal Harris County, coastal Galveston County, coastal Brazoria County, Brazoria Islands and Chambers County are under this watch.
Inland, we also have a Tropical Storm Watch for Harris, Galveston, Montgomery, Walker, Trinity, Polk, San Jacinto, and northern Liberty counties.
These watches all mean those conditions are possible by Wednesday afternoon.
Hurricane Laura's projected path brings the system somewhere in between the upper Texas coast and southeastern Louisiana Wednesday night into Thursday morning as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Southeast Texas is included on the far left side of the track. The center of the cone is pointing towards the western Louisiana coast. There is an equal chance it will track along the left side, middle, or right side of the cone.
As a result of the latest information, some areas have issued mandatory or voluntary evacuations.
The City of Galveston's mandatory order went into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Residents should secure loose items on their property and leave the island with all family members and pets.
Meanwhile, officials said evacuations are voluntary for those on the Bolivar Peninsula and residents and Chambers and Brazoria Counties. Voluntary evacuations are issued in the coastal communities of Seabrook and Nassau Bay, though officials said that could change depending on further updates.
Even those who don't live near the water are being told to be prepared.
At 7 a.m. Tuesday, Hurricane Laura was located in the Gulf of Mexico about 145 miles northwest of the western tip of Cuba. Laura's maximum sustained winds are at 75 mph. The storm is moving quickly west-northwest at 17 mph. The minimum central pressure is dropping and now down to 991 millibars. A drop in pressure is the sign of a strengthening storm.
The exact landfall point and intensity of Laura remain uncertain as the storm interacts with Cuba overnight. We will feel more confident in the forecast by the 10 a.m. Tuesday forecast update from the National Hurricane Center. Laura is expected to make landfall as a category 3 hurricane along the Gulf Coast as early as Wednesday night. Tropical storm force winds are possible as early as Wednesday afternoon, so you will want to complete your preparations by Wednesday morning.
Tropical Storm Marco
Marco reached category 1 hurricane status Sunday morning but it weakened to a tropical storm by Sunday night. Marco made landfall in southeastern Louisiana at the mouth of the Mississippi River at 6 p.m. Monday. Marco's remnant moisture could bring us a few showers Tuesday afternoon, but no significant rains are expected.
We are entering peak hurricane season and all indications are that the already record-breaking season could get even busier over the coming weeks. Officially, the Atlantic hurricane season lasts through the end of November.
During hurricane season, remain prepared and make sure you download our ABC13 Houston app!
Here are some resources that may help you and your family get ready for this hurricane season: