Aug 26: Weekend Impacts from Hurricane Laura

Jonathan Carr
By Jonathan Carr August 26, 2020 14:11

Aug 26: Weekend Impacts from Hurricane Laura

Dan Mueller Financial Advisor

Discussion: Laura is a category 4 (major) hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico heading for a landfall just on the LA side of the TX/LA gulf coast border later this evening. There’s actually a small chance of reaching category 5 prior to landfall but at this point it doesn’t matter. Destructive conditions are likely regardless.

This should place everyone from Galveston to Marsh Island, possibly wider, in tropical storm force winds. Areas between Sabine Lake and Calcasieu Lake are the most likely to see hurricane force winds. The area between Mae’s Beach and Cameron should experience eye wall force winds.

Laura’s initial landfall does not mean much for New Jersey however it is a life-threatening situation for the areas of landfall interest later this evening, primarily from wind damage and storm surge. If you have any family or friends in that area please tell them to obey evacuation orders should they be given by appropriate government offices.  

After making landfall tonight, Laura will weaken as it tracks northward through E TX/W LA and Arkansas Thursday through Friday morning. The mid-latitude westerlies will then turn Laura’s remnants to the E/NE out over the Atlantic Ocean. Therefore, whatever is left of the core energy should eject into the Atlantic Ocean passing over either SNJ or Demlarva this Saturday (Aug 29). By the time it reaches NJ this Saturday, the core will likely be very unorganized but still capable of producing periods of widespread rainfall with embedded thunderstorms. Any damaging winds would likely be caused by smaller mesoscale thunderstorm clusters, not the synoptic cyclonic winds around the unraveled core. As we’ve seen with the last few tropical storm/remnant hits, even the remnant hits can cause power outage problems and flash flooding. Once that clears out we’re then looking at another majestic day on Sunday (like today).

In English: Major Hurricane Laura is going to hit the E TX/W LA gulf coast pretty hard tonight and then track across the central and eastern US—ultimately over the NJ/Delmarva area this Saturday. This means rain and possibly some wind this Saturday followed by an amazing “after storm” feel day on Sunday. I’ll focus more on any specific NJ hazards for Saturday as we closer approach but the rainy/stormy washout theme has held on model guidance for a few days now. Have a great day and please be safe! JC

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Jonathan Carr
By Jonathan Carr August 26, 2020 14:11