Hurricane Laura is a Category 3 and intensifying, forecasters say it could become a catastrophic Category 4 making landfall in Texas and Louisiana on Wednesday evening, as over half a million people are ordered to evacuate.
Plus, more of today’s weather news and forecast.
As of early Wednesday morning, Hurricane Laura was a Category 3 and “rapidly intensifying” over the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said, CBS reported.
Officials are now expecting that Laura could strengthen into a Category 4 when it makes landfall some time on Wednesday evening.
Officials have ordered over half a million people to evacuate, but at least 20 million people are in the storm’s path.
The NHC is warning of potentially life-threatening storm surges between 10-15 feet, extreme winds, and flash flooding on Wednesday night along the Northwest Gulf Coast, the Washington Post reported.
A Category 4 hurricane has maximum sustained winds between 130-156 mph. Very high risk of injury or death from flying debris to people, pets and livestock. Most mobile homes will be destroyed. Homes, apartments and industrial buildings will see severe roof damage, and some homes may collapse.
Windows on high-rise buildings will be blown out. Trees and power lines will be downed. Power outages can last for weeks or months. Water shortages are common. Some areas may be uninhabitable for weeks or months, Time reports.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is issuing the advisory over possible severe thunderstorms across parts of the upper Midwest and Northeast on Wednesday. The warning includes central Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, northern Michigan, northeastern Ohio, Southwestern New York and southwestern Pennsylvania.
West: San Francisco 65, partly cloudy; Los Angeles 91, partly cloudy; San Diego 82, partly cloudy; Reno 89, mostly sunny; Las Vegas 110, sunny; Salt Lake City 97, sunny; Denver 95, thunderstorms.
Northwest & Northern Rockies: Seattle 76, mostly sunny; Medford 91, sunny; Boise 88, mostly sunny; Cut Bank 82, sunny; Billings 89, partly cloudy; Minot 84, rain; Rapid City 89, thunderstorms; Cheyenne 88, rain.
Southwest: Phoenix 113, mostly sunny; Tucson 107, partly cloudy; Albuquerque 94, mostly sunny; El Paso 98, sunny; San Antonio 97, mostly sunny; Brownsville 96, partly cloudy.
Central & Upper Midwest: Lubbock 95, sunny; Dallas 92, thunderstorms; Oklahoma City 91, thunderstorms; Kansas City 94, mostly sunny; Minneapolis 92, mostly sunny; Madison 93, sunny.
Ohio Valley: Chicago 94, sunny; St. Louis 90, thunderstorms; Detroit 85, thunderstorms; Cincinnati 92, partly cloudy; Indianapolis 92, rain.
South: Houston 91, rain; New Orleans 88, rain; Memphis 93, partly cloudy; Atlanta 88, mostly cloudy; Charlotte 92, sunny; Jacksonville 91, partly cloudy; Tampa 92, thunderstorms; Miami 88, thunderstorms.
East: Norfolk 87, sunny; Washington, D.C. 88, sunny; Philadelphia 84, mostly sunny; Buffalo 76, rain; New York City 82, sunny; Boston 76, partly cloudy; caribou 62, partly cloudy.