SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds, and flash flooding expected along the northwest Gulf Coast tonight, according to the National Hurricane Center. Only a few hours remain to protect life and property.
“Unsurvivable storm surge” will be possible in southwest Louisiana, according to a 10 AM statement from the National Hurricane Center.
Major Hurricane Laura is forecast to strengthen to category 4 as it moves northwestward over warm Gulf waters. Laura is still expected to make landfall near the Texas-Louisiana line as a major hurricane by early Thursday.
The most likely scenario to play out is one in which South Mississippi would see a chance for storm surge of 0 to 4 feet in Hancock and Harrison Counties and 0 to 3 feet in Jackson County. Other threats like wind, rain, and tornadoes appear to be minimal for South Mississippi based on this scenario.
Models are in virtually unanimous agreement that Laura’s center will not make landfall east of Lake Charles, LA. So, it is highly unlikely that a scenario will occur in which South Mississippi sees greater impacts other than a chance for storm surge. As Laura moves inland toward Arkansas and Tennessee on Thursday and Friday, South Mississippi will expect a continued chance for scattered showers as we may still see a few passing rain bands.
As Laura makes its final approach to the Gulf Coast, today will be breezy with scattered showers and thunderstorms in South Mississippi. New rain amounts in South Mississippi will be up to one inch. And winds in South Mississippi will be between 10 and 20 miles per hour with gusts between 20 and 30 miles per hour.