Laura Now Expected to Intensify to a Category 4 Hurricane
Hurricane Laura has intensified rapidly overnight. As expected, favorable conditions in the central Gulf of Mexico has given the storm free rein to churn into a very well developed hurricane with top sustained winds of 110 mph (as of 4 am).
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center now estimate that Laura could have sustained winds of 130 within the next 12-24 hours, making it a formidable Category 4 hurricane. However, Laura is expected to encounter some shear as it nears the Sabine Pass area late tonight, causing the storm to lose some punch and make landfall with top sustained winds of 120 mph (Cat 3).