The storm grew nearly 70% in power in just 24 hours to a size the National Hurricane Center called “extremely dangerous.”
Laura had maximum sustained winds of 140 mph as it churned about 200 miles from Lake Charles, Louisiana, moving northwest at 16 mph.
Tropical storm force conditions were possible, however, in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky and maybe even parts of Oklahoma, according to reports.
Laura is also expected to leave Alabama mostly untouched. After the storm moves north above the state, there will be potential for a few scattered thunderstorms and some flash flooding. The sinking air will bring a couple of dry but extremely humid days, according to WVTM 13. But the northwest corner of Alabama could see a small chance for isolated tornadoes or strong wind gusts.
Georgia Power said Tuesday it was monitoring the storm “around the clock” and stood ready to respond if any utilities were impacted.
For now, the storm is moving to the northwest and is expected to make landfall Wednesday night or early Thursday near the Texas-Louisiana border possibly as a Category 4 storm.
Thursday is expected to be partly cloudy and hot in Atlanta, with only a 20% chance of showers. Scattered thunderstorms will return Friday and through the weekend, with temperatures reaching into the upper 80s.
Some forecasts said the additional moisture from Laura would only be felt in North Georgia.
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