Hurricane Laura is expected to head into the ArkLaTex on Thursday. It could be the most impactful tropical system we’ve seen since Ike in 2008 and Rita in 2005. Widespread damaging wind and heavy rains can be expected. Hurricane Warnings have been issued for Sabine and Natchitoches parishes. Tropical Storm Warnings cover the rest of NW Louisiana along with portions of east Texas around and south of I-20.
Laura is expected to arrive along the Gulf coast near the Texas/Louisiana border late Wednesday evening as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 120 mph. The storm will move inland following the Texas/Louisiana border with the center arriving around the Toledo Bend reservoir around 7am Thursday still a hurricane with winds of 80mph. Laura is then forecast to track very near Shreveport by afternoon and gradually weakening to a tropical storm as it tracks into southwest Arkansas by early evening.
The wind and rain from Laura will arrive ahead of the center. Futuretrack shows rain moving into the southern ArkLaTex around 4am Thursday.
Steady rain will reach I-20 by midday.
The heaviest rains will shift toward I-30 by late afternoon.
By Thursday night rain will be breaking up, but some band of showers could persist into Friday.
Laura could be a high impacts tropical system with significant wind potential and heavy rain. Winds of 30-60 mph look probable on Thursday with gusts as high as 70-90 mph in spots, particularly where Hurricane Warnings are in place. Rain amounts of 3-6″ will be common with as much as 7-10″ in some places. The tornado risk typically associated with inland moving tropical systems is less certain, but a few isolated tornadoes can’t be ruled out across portions of north Louisiana.
The KSLA First Alert Weather team will keep you updated on the track, intensity and impacts from Laura. Here’s how you can your First Alert about what to expect: