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Forecasters say severe impacts expected from Hurricane Laura

Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 10:14 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Two storms, Tropical Storm Marco and Hurricane Laura, are impacting the Gulf Coast this week.

Tropical Storm Marco fizzled out Monday evening, but Hurricane Laura is now targeting Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. The last time two tropical cyclones were both in the Gulf together was back in 2002.

Forecasters say they are are monitoring Laura closely. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association is sending planes through the storm multiple times a day to track and chart how the storm is changing. National Hurricane Center Deputy Director Dr. Ed Rappaport tells me that information is used to help better forecast the storm.

“The models we use now are much more up to date, we use super computers,” said Dr. Rappaport.

“They’re faster. They can crunch more numbers and they’re better models themselves.”

Marco and Laura come almost 15 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane, devastating parts of the Gulf Coast. Dr. Rappaport said Laura has the potential to be as destructive.

The National Hurricane Center projected Tuesday morning Laura will become a major hurricane before it reaches land.

“Laura will probably not be as large as Katrina, so less of the area will be affected. But it will still have severe impacts where it does make landfall,” said Rappaport.

Dr. Rappaport said Hurricane Laura will be dangerous for anyone in its path.

He said he is not surprised by the development of these storms since late August is the most active time for historic hurricanes to hit the U-S.

Laura is forecast to make landfall somewhere between the Louisiana and Texas coasts Wednesday evening.

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