National Weather Service expects Laura to make landfall as Category 2 hurricane


    Sunny to partly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High near 95F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph..

    Partly cloudy this evening with more clouds for overnight. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 76F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.

    Cesar Reyes, right, carries a sheet of plywood to cut to size as he and Robert Aparicio, left, and Manuel Sepulveda, not pictured, install window coverings at Strand Brass and Christmas on the Strand, 2115 Strand St., in Galveston on Monday. Ginger Herter, who manages the shop, was erring on the side of caution boarding up the storefront as she waits to see what path Tropical Storm Laura will take as it heads toward the Texas and Louisiana coasts. « I’d rather do this and have to take them down rather than scramble to get them up later in the week, » she said.

    The National Weather Service is anticipating Tropical Storm Laura will make landfall late Wednesday or early Thursday as a Category 2 hurricane.

    During a Facebook live event Monday afternoon, meteorologist Brandon Thorne said Laura will likely impact the East Texas and the Northeast Louisiana area.

    “Wind gusts up to 50-60 miles per hour will be possible Thursday for our area,” Thorne said from the NWS office in Shreveport, Louisiana. “Flash flooding threat will increase through the day on Thursday, and we could see the potential for tornadoes possibly as early as Wednesday night as we head into Thursday.

    “The forecast track does remain a little bit uncertain. However, confidence is increasing as time goes on.”

    Marco, however, is continuing to weaken, and should not pose much of a threat to the area aside from a shower or a thunderstorm here and there, he said.

    Marco is expected to make landfall as early as Tuesday, and some rain bands in association with the depression could move through East Texas on Tuesday afternoon.

    There is an enhanced threat for Laura to bring strong winds, heavy rain, flash flooding and tornadoes starting Thursday morning, Thorne said. Some flooding is expected along the Sabine, Angelina and Neches rivers.

    “It’s (Laura) still got some land to go over, but once it gets through that land and gets through the Gulf of Mexico, we are expecting it to begin to strengthen,” Thorne said. “The original forecast had it sitting over the land of Cuba a little bit longer, so we’re kind of expecting it to be a little bit stronger because it’s been over the waters for a little bit longer.”

    Any change in this track from 50-100 miles in either direction can greatly impact the area, Thorne said.

    “Our confidence is increasing in this path,” Thorne said. “It’s looking more and more likely that this is going to be the path that it’s going to take.”

    Marco is expected to be a tropical depression by nightfall Monday as it weakens over the next 12-24 hours, he said. It is expected to make landfall at the western coastal tip of Louisiana and travel east through Southeast Texas by Wednesday.

    “We could see an isolated flash flooding threat through the day on Tuesday with any of the strongest storms, but generally, we’re not expecting much from Marco at all,” Thorne said.

    From 7 p.m. Wednesday to 7 p.m. Thursday, the East Texas and Northeast Louisiana area is expected to get anywhere from 3-6 inches of rainfall, with Angelina County expected to receive 2-3 inches.

    “Keep in mind, these are just projections of this. There will likely be locally higher amounts under some of those heavier storm bands,” he said.

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