TROPICAL STORM LAURA: Major Shift, South Florida Looks Largely Clear

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Track Continues To Change, But Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach County Look Good

11 AM SATURDAY, AUGUST 22, 2020 UPDATE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — UPDATE: 11:13 AM Saturday. Laura is seemingly no longer a threat to South Florida. We are posting the latest National Hurricane Center forecast below.

While wind and rain bands may be possible for South Florida over the next few days, we are closing our coverage of Laura with this report, barring a major change.

The earlier forecasts and advisory remain on this page. BocaNewsNow.com will update with major track changes or forecast advisories. The graphic above — and forecast below — are accurate as of the 11 a.m. advisory on Saturday, August 22, 2020.

Tropical Storm Laura Discussion Number  11
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL132020
1100 AM AST Sat Aug 22 2020

Laura is producing considerable deep convection but the cloud 
pattern remains disorganized.  Surface observations indicate that 
the center is still not well defined, but the San Juan WSR-88D radar 
shows a mid-level center south of eastern Puerto Rico.  The radar 
also shows heavy rains spreading over that island.  The initial 
intensity estimate remains at 35 kt based on continuity. As noted in 
previous discussions, the intensity forecast for Laura is dependent 
on its future track.  The official forecast, like the previous one, 
moves the center over the land masses of Hispaniola and Cuba for the 
next couple of days which should limit intensification at least 
through the weekend.  After Laura moves into the Gulf of Mexico, 
warm waters should lead to strengthening and the system is likely to 
become a hurricane in 3 to 4 days.  The official intensity forecast 
is close to the consensus guidance.  At this time the influence of 
small tropical cyclone Marco, which should move over the 
northwestern Gulf about a day or two before Laura, is not expected 
to be significant.  This could change in the coming days however.

The initial motion estimate remains quite uncertain and is near 
280/16 kt.  No significant changes are being made to the official 
track forecast.  Laura is likely to move on a generally 
west-northwestward track on the periphery of a mid-tropospheric high 
pressure area for the next few days.  By day 4, the system should 
turn northwestward while moving along the southwestern side of the 
high.  The official track forecast is only slightly north of the 
dynamical model consensus at 36-72 hours and essentially the same as 
the consensus otherwise.  The GFS and its ensemble mean are 
significantly farther west of the official forecast at days 3 and 
beyond, which suggests relatively low confidence in the longer-range 
track of Laura.

Key Messages:

1. Tropical storm conditions are expected across portions of the
the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today.  Tropical storm
conditions are also expected along the northern coasts of the
Dominican Republic and Haiti, and the Turks and Caicos and
southeastern Bahamas Saturday into Sunday.  Heavy rainfall is
likely across these areas and could cause mudslides and flash and 
urban flooding through Sunday, with widespread river flooding 
possible in Puerto Rico. 

2. Tropical storm conditions are possible over portions of the
central Bahamas Sunday night, as well as portions of eastern
and central Cuba Sunday and Sunday night.

3. The details of the long-range track and intensity forecasts
remain more uncertain than usual since Laura is forecast to move
near or over portions of the Greater Antilles through Monday. 
However, Laura is forecast to strengthen over the Gulf of 
Mexico and could bring storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts
to the northern U.S. Gulf Coast by the middle of next week.  
Interests there should monitor the progress of Laura and updates to 
the forecast during the next few days.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  22/1500Z 17.8N  66.8W   35 KT  40 MPH
 12H  23/0000Z 18.6N  69.4W   40 KT  45 MPH...INLAND
 24H  23/1200Z 19.4N  72.6W   40 KT  45 MPH...INLAND
 36H  24/0000Z 20.9N  76.3W   45 KT  50 MPH...INLAND
 48H  24/1200Z 22.4N  80.0W   45 KT  50 MPH...INLAND
 60H  25/0000Z 23.7N  83.2W   55 KT  65 MPH...OVER WATER
 72H  25/1200Z 25.2N  86.2W   65 KT  75 MPH
 96H  26/1200Z 27.9N  90.6W   75 KT  85 MPH
120H  27/1200Z 31.6N  92.5W   40 KT  45 MPH...INLAND

The following Bulletin was issued by the National Hurricane Center at 8 a.m. on Saturday, August 22, 2020.

BocaNewsNow.com continues to monitor Laura but will now only update if there is a dramatic shift affecting South Florida. As of 11 a.m. Saturday, August 22, 2020, South Florida is no longer in the cone.

BULLETIN
Tropical Storm Laura Intermediate Advisory Number 10A
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL132020
800 AM AST Sat Aug 22 2020

...DISORGANIZED LAURA CONTINUES TO MOVE NEAR EASTERN PUERTO RICO...


SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.7N 66.0W
ABOUT 50 MI...80 KM S OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 280 DEGREES AT 21 MPH...33 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB...29.71 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The government of the Netherlands has discontinued the Tropical
Storm Warning for Saba and St. Eustatius.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands
* St. Maarten
* St. Martin and St. Barthelemy
* The northern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to
the border with Haiti
* The southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to
Punta Palenque
* The northern coast of Haiti from Le Mole St. Nicholas to the
border with the Dominican Republic
* The southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* The central Bahamas

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Interests in Cuba should monitor the progress of Laura.  Tropical
Storm Warnings and Watches will likely be issued for portions of
central and eastern Cuba later today.

For storm information specific to your area in the United
States, including possible inland watches and warnings, please
monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service
forecast office. For storm information specific to your area
outside of the United States, please monitor products issued by
your national meteorological service.


DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
----------------------
At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Laura was
located near latitude 17.7 North, longitude 66.0 West. Laura is
moving toward the west near 21 mph (33 km/h), and a generally
west-northwestward motion is expected over the next few days.  On
the forecast track, the center of Laura will move near Puerto Rico
this morning, near or over Hispaniola this afternoon and tonight,
and near or over eastern Cuba Sunday and Sunday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. 
Slow strengthening is expected during the next few days.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 km)
mainly to the north of the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure based on surface
observations is 1006 mb (29.71 inches).


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
RAINFALL:  Laura is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain over
Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, the
southern Haitian Peninsula and eastern Cuba through Sunday. Maximum
amounts up to 8 inches are possible along eastern portions and the
southern slopes of Puerto Rico, as well as over Haiti, the Dominican
Republic and eastern Cuba. This heavy rainfall could lead to flash
and urban flooding, as well as an increased potential for mudslides
with minor river flooding in Puerto Rico.

1 to 3 inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of 5 inches are
expected over the northern Leeward Islands, the Turks and Caicos 
and southeast Bahamas.

WIND:  Tropical storm conditions are expected within portions of
the warning area this morning through Sunday.  Tropical storm
conditions are possible within portions of the watch area Sunday
night.

SURF:  Swells generated by Laura are affecting portions of the 
northern Leeward Islands.  These swells are expected to spread
across the northern coasts of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba,
and much of the Bahamas during the next few days.  Please consult
products from your local weather office.

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Anything can happen and often does as storms develop and change course, but just an hour after Tropical Storm Laura was “born” and on a path for South Florida, the storm has apparently shifted and is now on a course to bring just a little wind and rain as it moves into the Gulf.

We stress that forecasts change and South Florida could quickly be back in the cone, but for now, the latest forecast is largely good news for Palm Beach County and all of South Florida. Here is the 11 AM (Friday) update from the National Hurricane Center.

Tropical Storm Laura Discussion Number   7
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL132020
1100 AM AST Fri Aug 21 2020

A NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft has been investigating the system 
this morning and found that the maximum winds have increased to near 
40 kt, and therefore the cyclone is being named.  The Hurricane 
Hunters also found that the center of the storm is located somewhat 
to the south of previous estimates.  The system is better organized 
than it was yesterday, but still lacks well-defined banding 
features.  However, some upper-level outflow is now noted over the 
southern portion of the circulation.  The official forecast calls 
for some slow strengthening during the next couple of days, but the 
intensity forecast is quite uncertain and depends on how much 
interaction with land will occur.  For now, we will assume that the 
northern part of the circulation will remain over water so that the 
system will not be too disrupted by Hispaniola and Cuba.  The 
official intensity forecast remains close to the model consensus 
except at days 4 and 5 where it is a little lower due to these 
uncertainties.

With the repositioning of the center, the motion is very uncertain
but is estimated to be 270/16 kt.  Laura is expected to move mainly
west-northwestward on the south side of a subtropical high pressure
system over the next couple of days.  Later in the forecast period,
the tropical cyclone should turn toward the northwest as it moves
around the western periphery of the high.  The official track
forecast has been adjusted to the south of the previous one and is
on the northern side of the guidance suite.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for the northern Leeward
Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Key Messages:

1. Tropical storm conditions are expected across portions of the 
northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico today 
through Saturday, and Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect.  Heavy 
rainfall is likely across this area beginning today and could cause 
mudslides and flash and urban flooding through Sunday.

2. Tropical storm conditions are possible along the northern coasts 
of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the southeastern Bahamas, 
and the Turks and Caicos islands Saturday and Sunday, and Tropical 
Storm Watches are in effect.

3. The details of the long-range track and intensity forecasts 
remain more uncertain than usual since Laura is forecast to move 
near or over portions of the Greater Antilles through Monday. 
However, Laura could bring storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts 
to portions of Cuba, the Bahamas, and Florida early next week and 
the northeast U.S. Gulf Coast by the middle of next week. Interests 
there should monitor the progress of Laura and updates to the 
forecast over the next few days.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  21/1500Z 17.0N  60.2W   40 KT  45 MPH
 12H  22/0000Z 17.4N  62.7W   40 KT  45 MPH
 24H  22/1200Z 18.3N  66.0W   45 KT  50 MPH
 36H  23/0000Z 19.2N  69.5W   45 KT  50 MPH
 48H  23/1200Z 20.2N  73.4W   45 KT  50 MPH
 60H  24/0000Z 21.6N  77.1W   50 KT  60 MPH
 72H  24/1200Z 23.2N  80.7W   55 KT  65 MPH
 96H  25/1200Z 26.5N  85.5W   65 KT  75 MPH
120H  26/1200Z 29.5N  87.5W   65 KT  75 MPH

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