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|Category 4 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)|
|Formed||August 20, 2020|
|Dissipated||August 29, 2020|
|Highest winds||1-minute sustained: 150 mph (240 km/h) |
|Lowest pressure||937 mbar (hPa); 27.67 inHg|
|Fatalities||47 direct, 30 indirect|
|Damage||$19.1 billion (2020 USD)|
|Areas affected||Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba, Yucatan Peninsula, Gulf Coast of the United States (especially Louisiana and Texas)|
|Part of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season|
Hurricane Laura was a deadly and destructive tropical cyclone that is tied with the 1856 Last Island hurricane for the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana in terms of maximum sustained winds, and the strongest to affect Louisiana since Hurricane Camille brought category 5 winds to the rural southeast portion of the state. The twelfth named storm, fourth hurricane, and first major storm on the record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Laura formed from a tropical wave that moved off the coast of West Africa on August 16, and formed into a tropical depression by August 20. On August 21, Laura strengthened into a tropical storm, becoming the earliest twelfth named storm, and breaking 1995's Hurricane Luis's record by eight days.
Laura first moved over the Lesser Antilles and brushing Puerto Rico as a tropical storm, before making landfall in the resort city of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, killing four people in the Dominican Republic and 31 in Haiti. The storm then moved over the entire island of Cuba, forcing the evacuation of more than 260,000 people. Then, the outer rainbands of Laura moved over parts of the Florida Keys and Southern Florida. It then moved over the warm Gulf of Mexico, strengthening slowly at first, before undergoing rapid intensification by August 26. Later that day, Laura became a major hurricane, and soon reached a peak intensity of 150 mph (240 km/h), making it a Category 4 hurricane.
Then, just a couple of hours after reaching peak intensity, at 6:00 UCT on August 27, Laura made landfall in Cameron, Louisiana just below peak intensity with 150 mph (240 km/h) and a pressure of 939 mbar, at the same wind speed of the 1856 Last Island hurricane. It was the 10th strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit the United States in terms of wind speed, killed 42 people in the U.S, and caused $19 billion in damage on the Gulf Coast of the United States and inland areas. After landfall, Laura weakened, falling to tropical storm status later in the day, and tropical depression status over Arkansas the next day. On August 29, Laura weakened to a remnant low over Kentucky, before being absorbed by an extratropical cyclone over the East Coast. Overall, Laura caused $19.1 billion in damage and killed 81 people. Areas that were badly affected by Laura, mostly southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana, were badly affected by more flooding and strong winds during Hurricane Delta around six weeks later.
References[change | change source]
- Jake Sodja (August 24, 2020). "Laura's death toll mounting in Caribbean as storm sets course towards U.S." AccuWeather. Retrieved December 8, 2020.