4
| Weather |

Hurricane Laura Should Be a Major Storm at Landfall Somewhere Nearby

Hurricane Laura is now a direct threat to the upper Texas coast and Houston.
Hurricane Laura is now a direct threat to the upper Texas coast and Houston.
Photo by Jack Gorman
^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

We wish we could report better news this morning, but forecast models have continued to trend westward overnight and now have a potentially very dangerous category 3 or 4 hurricane bearing down on the upper Texas coast overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

The ridge of high pressure that is steering the storm is a little stronger than anticipated, hence the westward nudge in the forecast track. As of the 10 a.m. update, the cone of uncertainty from the National Hurricane Center extends from Freeport to Morgan City, Louisiana. Hurricane warnings are posted for the same area, which includes Galveston and Houston.

A full evacuation of Galveston Island is underway as well as a similar order in Jefferson County near Beaumont. Laura is expected to make landfall in the wee hours of Thursday morning and, at this point, it seems likely that a point somewhere between Galveston and Beaumont is most likely, but any wobble to the left and we could have a storm right over Houston.

The good news is this will be over quickly. Unlike Harvey, flooding is not expected to be a significant issue. Flash flooding in low lying areas will do what it does during heavy rainfall, but nothing like we saw in 2017.

Additionally, this storm will move quickly through the area. The first wind and rain should begin to reach the area Wednesday afternoon and deteriorate from there. But by later in the day Thursday, Laura should have cleared us well to the north.

Also, because Laura is a relatively small storm, the strongest winds will be in a relatively small area. Hurricane force winds will extend well out from the center, maybe 30-40 miles, but the worst will be just north and east of the eye, so the exact spot of landfall is fairly critical. If the storm stays to our east, we should experience only minimal impacts with wind and rain throughout Wednesday and Thursday. If it were to move a little west and south, we could take a direct hit.

At this point, it's a good time to get all your potted plants and loose items in from outside and stowed away. Make sure you have your pets in a safe place and you have medications and supplies. Additionally, you might want ice and maybe a backup generator as even a glancing blow will likely down power lines and cause power outages much like we saw in 2008 with Hurricane Ike.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.