Laura roars like a lion into Louisiana, but acts as a lamb in Houston

POSTED AT 1 AM CT THURSDAY: At midnight, central time, the northern eyewall of Hurricane Laura came ashore over Cameron Parish, Louisiana. This is about 35 miles east of the state’s border with Texas, and a bit further east than forecasters anticipated. This places the storm’s core of strongest winds solidly over the western half of Louisiana, and should spare much of the Beaumont region from the very worst of Laura. Meanwhile, a devastating storm surge is moving into southern Louisiana and has inundated some locations for dozens of miles inland.

Laura had 150 mph winds at landfall, the hurricane center reported. This makes it a high-end Category 4 hurricane, tying the storm for the fifth most powerful continental U.S. landfalling hurricane since 1900.

The worst of the storm’s winds are only now moving onshore and the hurricane center justifiably urged those who have not evacuated from Southwestern Louisiana to, “Treat these imminent extreme winds as if a tornado was approaching and move immediately to the safe room in your shelter. Take action now to protect your life!”

Local effects

A landfall in Cameron places the storm’s center more than 130 miles from Houston, and because this is further than anticipated we are seeing very limited impacts here in the metro area. There is some moderate surge along the coast and in Galveston Bay, and a few areas have recorded wind gusts near 40 mph. As a result of these lower-than-expected winds, Houston has so far experienced no power outages tonight—a welcome change from our earlier expectations. We do not anticipate winds increasing significantly overnight. Rain chances are quite low as well. This is it, folks.

Laura’s rains only extend about as far west as Winnie tonight, and they’re unlikely to get closer. (RadarScope)

Houston will probably be mostly cloudy, and quite warm on Thursday with a drier flow from the north on Laura’s backside. Rain chances may increase on Friday as the tail of Laura brings some moisture into the area before lifting entirely away. We’ll have a complete forecast for Houston in the morning—whenever I wake up.

40 thoughts on “Laura roars like a lion into Louisiana, but acts as a lamb in Houston”

    • Such weird feelings going on; so grateful that we did not get hit…. but feeling almost guilty about feeling grateful knowing what is happening to our neighbors…

    • Eric, can’t thank you and Matt enough for the coverage you guys provided during this difficult time. You guys do an incredible job at forecasting hurricanes and every day weather. Our community is blessed to have you doing the job you do. Thanks for everything…

  1. Can’t thank you guys enough. Cool thing, everybody I suggested your site to in the last few days said, “Oh yeah, I love those guys!”. You’re really helping folks in this community.

    • I couldn’t agree more!!! SCW is my absolute go-to!! Thank you for helping so many of us navigate this storm!

    • Had exactly the same reaction from all the folk I told. So grateful to Eric and Matt. Bless you both.
      Prayers for help to all affected in Louisiana. Bless them all.

    • Funny story about that… My boss lives closer to the coast than the rest of our team. I shared a SCW update with him via email on Tuesday and I promptly hear him yell from his office about me having the same boyfriends as his wife. Evidently she and I are both “obsessed” with these two guys that “must be hot” and we “worship” what Eric and Matt say.

      While I am happy to see SO many people I know sharing FB updates stemming from SCW posts, I am also a bit bummed I am no longer the one everyone asks for weather updates since they know to come here, now.

      I hope your day jobs let you sleep in, maybe have a day off after all of your hard work the last ten-ish days, guys! Thank you for putting my mind at ease so many times. I don’t check anyone’s updates but yours, especially during events like these.

  2. As always, thank you for your reliable, upfront and trustworthy reporting. Your efforts are very much appreciated.

  3. Thank you for keeping us all up to date through your posts. We appreciate both of you!

  4. Well done Matt and Eric (from a long-time reader and fan from over here in Oxford, UK). As far as folks in Houston are concerned, this was the equivalent of calmly talking down a 747. It’s not just the evidenced-based and clear-eyed scientific analysis that’s so impressive: it’s the interpretation and language you use, the transparency, honesty…and even humour. I’m sure it’s calmed many, given people tools to navigate the sometimes chaotic media landscape, and will have had an impact far beyond just those who simply read the blog.

    To commit to doing this – consistently, brilliantly – over days and weeks deserves an award. Seriously, bravo chaps.

    • Absolutely Spot On.
      Such a relief, to have timely,trustworthy information to help us to make informed decisions. Thank you for being your brother’s keeper. You have our respect and gratitude.

  5. Thank you a million times for your excellent, accurate and practical coverage. Bless you both for saving our sanity during this storm (and all storms past and future). You are Houston’s superheroes!

  6. Thank you Eric for your dedication to your skilled profession. You are the ONLY source I have relied on for my hurricane news. Get a good rest.

  7. Thank you so much for your excellent coverage of this storm. It is greatly appreciated. Hopefully the team can get some much needed rest.

  8. Thanks SCW! You two are a treasure to all of south Texas. – Cat 4/5 hurricane survivor -My family evacuated Biloxi when I was a 7yr old during hurricane Camille. We didn’t get far and held up in a church. Early warning was not the same in 1969 and there was no SCW!! Mostly am and ham radio broadcasters delivering warnings filled with fear, then silence, then deafening wind and rain. Wind that sounded like a never ending freight train. Big trees snapping like twigs, and debris hitting the church full of hurricane refugees. I can tell you with certainty, the souls that lived through Laura, and must return to an unfathomable scene of mayhem, will be forever changed. They will have only two things left for sure; their lives and a great deal of hard work to put them back together.

    • Well said Sherry. Spot on with everything you said. The survivors of events like this are forever changed, for the most part for the better. Stronger, having been tempered by the fire that ravaged their existence, and in most cases the first in line to help where they can. Having experienced the worst on Mother Nature and the best of human compassion survivors are changed. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, fires all create horrific suffering, AND the greatest of compassion. Translated, the desire to HELP, as much as possible.

      • Exactly, I agree with everything you said Tom, 100%. It brings a lifetime of focus on what really matters. Then there is grit. I can only speak from my perspective. Surviving taught me nothing is out of reach, God willing. The power of faith, being certain in the face of uncertainty, is not only the foundation for perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity, it is a gift meant to share. I used to believe the drive to encourage others was born of a genuine desire to help and this is true, however, the bigger truth is humbling. Each person I reach brings Immeasurable healing and joy to me, that little 7 yr.old girl with a pink plastic tea set given to me by the loving smiling faces of the Red Cross volunteers.

  9. Why is it we never see Celia listed as one of the worst? The destruction in Corpus Christi was unimaginable. Celia was a small storm, but the winds unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The percentage of buildings destroyed or heavily damaged by wind remains almost unmatched to this day. Many claim it was tornadoes that did all the damage, straight line winds never that high. What I KNOW is that everywhere you looked after the storm utter destruction was the rule. I have been through several hurricanes in my seven plus decades, including all here since 1987. None had anywhere near the ferocity of Celia. Wind only. TS Allison, Harvey, Carla all had tremendous rain and horrific flooding. I guess size does matter when it comes to hurricanes, because by the square foot I’ve never seen anything to match Celia’s wind driven destruction. But Celia was small. To those that rode her out she was likely the most significant weather event we’ll ever witness. Worse yet, forecasting had her down as a minor, though very large storm till just before landfall, when she shrank drastically and intensified to an unbelievable degree. NOBODY saw that coming. I wonder if in today’s world we’d have had more warning. So much more info is available now, and you guys often nail it. Storm surge, rain, winds, timing, you get it amazingly accurate far more often than not. Celia fooled everybody, from a lamb to a lion in very short order. We in Houston dodged the bullet with Laura. Those to our east sadly did not. And Laura’s march north will create more misery for a bunch of people. Any aid you can give will be invaluable to those who suffered the brunt of Laura. We here have been the recipients of a lot of goodwill following disasters and we have given as good as we got in the past. I hope the virus doesn’t change that pattern, not everyone having the ability now to help. Here’s hoping those that do step up. I expect we will.

  10. Houston really dodged a bullet on this one, thank you guys for sharing your knowledge with us .we really appreciate you

  11. Great job. I have an Astro shirt that says Space City across the top. I wore it in Cooperstown the day Bagwell was inducted. My neighbor saw me walking and asked me if I bought from the weather guys.

  12. Eric and Matt, Words cannot express the appreciation I feel for your work. You tell us what you think will happen and back it up with your reasoning based on sound principles. Then you take time to explain the technicalities. I have depended on your forecasts for years now (all the way back to the SciGuy days in the Chronicle!) I have some basic weather acquaintance from pilot training and appreciate the technical approach.

    Ever since meeting you both at your Museum of Natural Science presentation, your dedication and commitment to the community has been apparent, but in this harrowing run-up to Laura, you both have demonstrated that your scientific minds are coupled with very human hearts!

    Thank you both!!

    • Wait a minute – Eric and Matt were available to meet in person? I want to be invited to THAT so I can be a part of the crowd to thank them. I’m not joking this time.

      That being said, add my thanks to Eric and Matt for the fantastic work. Please take a few days off with zero guilt. I think it is safe to say that none of us Spaceheads will object. Heck, we’ll defend it.

  13. Thank you so much for your generous time and concentrated efforts to provide such amazing coverage! The last few days have been strenuous and emotionally charged. We appreciate everything you do! SO grateful Houston was spared but my thoughts , prayers, and heart go out to our neighbors in LA. Such horrible heartbreak. Houston benefitted from our friends in LA during Harvey and I hope we can reciprocate. Thank you again, Eric and Matt!!

  14. Thanks for all the hard work, Eric and Matt. We feel really reallly lucky this time in Houston.

    Those reading, American Red Cross is accepting donations for our neighbors who have been affected by Laura. It’s the least we can do!

  15. Thank you for all your hard work. I’m sure this has been the result of many sleepless nights. I hope you are finding a way to monetize this labor of Kobe. You deserve to be compensated for all of this. It is a great service to Houston and as new residents we deeply appreciate having a dependable source for this important information.

  16. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For posting often. For being funny. For being right. Permanent fan here!

  17. As soon as I saw your post first thing yesterday morning I breathed a sigh of relief. The Houston meteorologists were still saying where exactly Laura would make landfall was still uncertain. I knew better. Thank you guys for your knowledge, attention to detail and ability to convey some pretty complex weather science into language we can understand.

  18. Since we heard about Laura we started praying in our church in Houston and asked for other churches in Brazil to join us in prayer. A prophet from Brazil had a vision 2 days ago and she saw a lion roaring but God told her He would protect the people. I thought it was interesting the title of this article is about a lion roaring but being like a lamb to Houston. But even thought the storm hit other areas thank God not many lives were lost. We keep praying for God to comfort those who are suffering due to this storm. God answers prayers. He is good!

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