SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – 4 pm NHC Update: Hurricane Laura continues to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 145 mph. Laura is now a category 4 hurricane and is expected to produce catastrophic storm surges over SW LA. NHC indicates that a surge of the magnitude expected is not survivable. It’s also possible that the surge could advance some 30 or more miles into SW Louisiana. The slideshow below shows the latest possible impacts as well as watches and warnings associated with Laura.

24/7 updated current and forecast weather information:

Laura is expected to strengthen a little more with maximum sustained wind of 150 mph possible during landfall shortly after midnight tonight near the Texas and Louisiana border. The forecast has shifted a few miles to the east. We could see the center of Laura pass a little east of Shreveport and well east of Texarkana. It more than likely will be a strong tropical storm as it crosses Interstate 20.

The tornado threat with Laura will be north and east of the center of circulation. This puts much of Louisiana and Arkansas in a location that will be favorable for a brief spin-up tornado or two. These weak tornadoes typically aren’t on the ground long and are difficult to detect on radar, but they can still cause a significant amount of damage.

It is quite possible that Laura will become the strongest tropical system ever to move through the ArkLaTex. Obviously, this means that we will see some severe impacts. Flash flooding will become a widespread issue with the five to seven inches of rain that will be possible. I would plan on losing power at some point Thursday. It is also quite possible that some power outages could last several days.

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