Computer models try to home in on Laura’s landfall; Port Arthur, Tex., is the latest target
It may take until Wednesday for the forecast track for Laura to be nailed down, but the latest simulations from the European and American models now take the center of the storm very close to Port Arthur, Tex., near the border with Louisiana.
Below is the American model simulation at 3 a.m. Thursday:
Next is the European model forecast at 2 a.m. Thursday:
The European model forecast is slightly west of the American model forecast, but the projections are very similar.
When models agree, it increases forecast confidence; however, as we are still 36 hours from landfall and small shifts in the track remain likely. For this reason, the National Hurricane Center has stressed not focusing on the centerline in its track forecast or “forecast cone” (which is roughly where the American model shows landfall).
The storm track could still shift west, more toward Houston-Galveston, or east, toward Lake Charles, La. This entire region is under a hurricane warning, where official have advised rushing preparations to completion and following guidance from local officials, including evacuation orders.
Even if the conditions are most extreme where Laura comes ashore, dangerous impacts will extend up to 200 miles from the center.